bleacherreport: Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has said he doesn’t deserve to win the 2019 Ballon d’Or, but the forward remains confident of his future chances.
Mbappe, who turns 21 in December, spoke to Ouest France (h/t Goal) and said he didn’t believe he deserves the 2019:
“This year? You have to be realistic, I do not deserve it. There are players who have done more.
“With PSG, we did not win all the national titles. In the Champions League, we disappointed.
“Sure, at the individual level, I did win a lot of trophies, but football is not played alone and must accept it.
“I still have time to win it. I’m in no hurry. It’s not something that haunts me.”
Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk is a front-runner to become the first defender to win the Ballon d’Or since former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro lifted the award in 2006. He was a key component for the Reds as they won last term’s UEFA Champions League, as well as clinching the inaugural UEFA Nations League with Netherlands.
Lionel Messi is back among the favourites after he led Barcelona to La Liga triumph in May, as well as winning his sixth European Golden Shoe for 2018-19.
Mbappe recently gave the Argentinian his backing for this year’s gong, per Der Spiegel (h/t ESPN UK):
Mbappe picks Messi as his Ballon d’Or winner 🤝 pic.twitter.com/AYdjZp2Ez4
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) November 25, 2019
Sky Sports Statto listed Europe’s most prolific scorers at the beginning of November, showing Mbappe to be slightly behind the pace compared to the likes of Messi, 32, and Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski:
⚽ Most all comps goals by players in top 5 European Leagues in 2019
39 ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI
36 Lionel Messi
32 Sergio Aguero
32 Kylian Mbappe
28 Raheem Sterling pic.twitter.com/0sb3Ihu0O0
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 6, 2019
Mbappe became the first player to win Ligue 1’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards in the same campaign last season.
Hamstring and thigh injuries this autumn restricted Mbappe to only three goals in six appearances for France in 2019. PSG’s failure to crack the Champions League round of 16 for a third season running would akso not have aided his Ballon d’Or bid.
The youngster said in June that he would prefer to win the Champions League—a team award—over the Ballon d’Or if given the chance, via ESPN FC:
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 20, 2019
Mbappe finished fourth in last year’s Ballon d’Or vote following his hand in helping France win the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Last year’s winner, Luka Modric, didn’t even make the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 vote, showing how quickly the footballing landscape can change.
Thierry Henry—France’s all-time top scorer with 51 goals in 123 caps—backed Mbappe to break his record after netting 13 times in his first 33 international appearances, via Omnisport:
— Omnisport (@OmnisportNews) November 13, 2019
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has been increasingly open regarding his admiration for Mbappe and recently said he was “in love with” the player.
PSG manager Thomas Tuchel responded and told reporters: “Sometimes it is like that. Sometimes you love players that you can’t have. Unfortunately for Zidane he is our player, and I think he also has many players that he is in love with on his own team.”
Mbappe—who has a contract with PSG until 2022—hopes to take the French giants to greater heights to boost his Ballon d’Or prospects, but the player may have to leave Paris to make a genuine run at the crown.
Source: Published by bleacherreport