Kylian Mbappe played out of his skin during Paris Saint-Germain’s win at Bayern Munich.
Say what you like about the PSG forward’s season overall, but there’s no denying that he’s showing up on the big stage, producing his greatest ever performances in the Champions League.
Besides, fresh from scoring four goals across two legs against Barcelona, Mbappe went one better by ending Bayern’s unbeaten run in Europe’s premier competition with two goals in Bavaria.
Mbappe’s 2020/21 brilliance
He might have been helped by some dodgy goalkeeping from Manuel Neuer, as well as excellent creativity from Neymar, but Mbappe was just as lethal as ever on the counterattack.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it could be a rather lengthy passing of the flame when you consider how evergreen Ronaldo and Messi really are, but it does feel as though we’re approaching a new era.
Mbappe and Messi compared
Besides, it’s now being touted that Mbappe will strike up a rivalry with Erling Braut Haaland that will compare to the back and forth between Barcelona and Juventus stars that we see now.
And truth be told, there’s no great reason to disbelieve that when Mbappe appears to be embarking on a one-man mission to end PSG’s high-profile woes in the Champions League.
In fact, such is Mbappe’s astonishing achievements at the age of 22, winning ‘Big Ears’ or not, that there are even grounds on which to claim that he might overtake Messi one day.
Mbappe vs Messi at age
I know, that might seem absurd, but let’s appreciate for one second that Mbappe has achieved more both individually and with his teams than Messi had when he was the same age as the Frenchman.
And that remarkable fact has been highlighted in a Twitter thread by user @bothgoats this week, contrasting Mbappe’s contemporary stats with Messi before he turned 23 for the 2010/11 campaign.
I’m sure it’s a line of argument that has already ruffled a few feathers, but it certainly makes for an interesting read, so be sure to give it your full attention by checking it out down below:
It really makes you think, doesn’t it?
Can Mbappe become the GOAT?
Besides, if you take the numbers at face value, then it’s beyond reproach that Mbappe will surpass the statistics – key word, that – of Messi if he continues the dazzling trajectory that he’s on right now.
But there are a few caveats. First of all, Mbappe playing in Ligue 1 is by no means as difficult as Messi finding his feet in La Liga, though he does continue to be linked with a Real Madrid move.
However, perhaps most importantly, Mbappe will need to seriously up his game if he’s going to continue maintaining a career that runs better and stronger than how Messi’s was at the same time.
Why? Well, because the next two seasons that Mbappe will have to match age-wise just happen to be the years in which Messi won the Champions League at Wembley and scored 91 goals in 12 months.
So, fair play, Kylian, because there’s no denying that your achievements at 22 years old are nothing short of staggering, but it’ll be years 23 and 24 that really show whether you’re on Messi’s level or not.
Let’s be honest, though, even if he can’t match Messi’s numbers, is that really an insult? Errrr nope.