Kylian Mbappe's Champions League record compared to strikers at the same age

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Imagine being as good as Kylian Mbappe and not even being 21 years old.

Despite spending the first half on the bench, Mbappe hit the headlines on Tuesday night by scoring a 22-minute hat-trick against the Club Brugges - the fastest ever by a substitute in the Champions League.

It's just the latest record and feat from the young Frenchman who is widely considered as the clearest heir to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's throne.

Although the legendary duo are slowly slackening their grip on the duopoly, it seems as though nobody will consider any other player as the world's best until they've hung up their boots.

But when they do, Mbappe will be waiting and he's already producing the kind of statistics that could see him overtake Messi and Ronaldo one day.

Mbappe makes European history

Don't worry, we know that statement is controversial, but most football fans have seen data showing that Mbappe has a superior goal-scoring record to both players at the same age.

It's a point that is usually rebuffed by dismissals of Ligue 1 and claims that Ronaldo and Messi would have scored similar bucketfuls if they were also playing in a 'farmer's league.'

Well, forget the domestic league because we're focusing on the Champions League after Mbappe became the youngest ever player (20 years and 306 days) to register 15 goals.

Club Brugge KV v Paris Saint-Germain: Group A - UEFA Champions League

Compared to legends at the same age

But how close is it when you compare Mbappe to some legends of the game? Not even vaguely.

Using data from Transfermarkt, we've calculated how many goals some of the Champions League's greatest ever strikers had to their name at the same age as Mbappe. The results are astonishing.

Kylian Mbappe - 15 goals

Karim Benzema - 10 goals

Raul - 8 goals

Lionel Messi - 8 goals

Thierry Henry - 7 goals

Wayne Rooney - 3 goals

Andriy Shevchenko - 1 goal

Cristiano Ronaldo - 0 goals

Ronaldo Nazario - 0 goals

Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 0 goals

Robert Lewandowski - 0 goals

Ruud van Nistelrooy - 0 goals

Filippo Inzaghi - 0 goals

Some people won't be happy with us calling Benzema a 'legend', but the competition's fourth greatest scorer in history is the closest to Mbappe's youthful crown. 

Then comes Messi and Raul, who both previously held the record for being the youngest to 15 goals and were level on eight strikes by the time they clocked 20 years and 306 days. 

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And after that, there's an absolute slew of strikers who - despite becoming unstoppable in their prime - simply weren't good enough to take on the Champions League at that age.

So, criticise Mbappe all you like, the fact of the matter is that he's on course to become arguably the greatest footballer of all time. Seriously.

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