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Today recognised as one of world football’s greatest talents, Kylian Mbappé got his start in AS Monaco, where he achieved his first successes.

On 2 December 2016, a young Kylian Mbappé stepped virtually unnoticed onto the pitch as a substitute against Stade Malherbe de Caen, with his diagonally striped jersey bearing the number 33. He was just 16 years and 11 months old when he made his debut for Monaco’s professional team,
becoming the youngest player to wear the team’s colours in its Ligue 1 history, beating the record held until then by a certain Thierry Henry.

A few weeks later, in February 2017, the young prodigy chalked up his first Ligue 1 hat trick against FC Metz and, ten days after that, scored his first goal in the Champions’ League against Manchester City. The media and observers gradually became aware of the young striker’s full potential
as he continued to break records at a lightning pace. By March 2017, Mbappé had reached the benchmark of ten Ligue 1 goals, before securing his first Champions’ League double against Borussia Dortmund in the competition’s quarterfinal. He recorded his fifth Champions’ League goal in the return leg against Dortmund, becoming the youngest player in history to reach this total and the first to score in his first four knock-out matches of the competition.
To date, he is still the youngest leading semi-final goal scorer in the history of the Champions’ League thanks to his goal against Gianlugi Buffon’s Juventus, the team which finally eliminated AS Monaco from the competition.

© Direction de la Communication - Manuel Vitali
@AFP

Mbappé, who was born in Paris, joined the French capital’s club in September 2017 after a fantastic season with AS Monaco, the highlights of which included a Champions’ League semi-final and a French championship title.
A key player for the French national team, he won his most treasured trophy with Les Bleus: the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Chalking up four goals during the competition, the French star earned his selection with goals that were as spectacular as they were decisive, particularly against Argentina in the last sixteen, and against Croatia in the final, along the way becoming the youngest lead scorer in a World Cup final since Pelé, the king of football.
Mbappé is now a world-renowned star, courted by the biggest clubs, yet the town of Bondy – where he grew up – remains close to his heart as, of course, does Monaco, where the football world discovered one of its new idols.

“Monaco built his personality, and made him its youngest player. I have no doubt that he will reach the top internationally, and perhaps win the Ballon d’Or.”

Leonardo Jardim

© AFP
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