Six years after this 13-year-old was pictured in his bedroom surrounded by a Cristiano Ronaldo shrine, Kylian Mbappe is realising his dream of becoming one of, if not the, most exciting prospect in world football.
France’s number 10 destroyed Argentina during their round of 16 match on Saturday afternoon, bagging twice and recording a truly ridiculous speed of 38km/h to smash Ronaldo’s record of being the fastest player at the tournament so far.
But just how obsessed was Mbappe about following in the footsteps of his idol?
Mbappe’s father told France Football back in 2016 that his son used to “spend hours watching videos of Ronaldo on the internet” and now the Paris Saint-Germain forward is tearing teams apart on the biggest stage of them all.
Not to mention the fact he’s outshining his idol at the World Cup.
In an interview with Spanish publication MARCA last year, Mbappe actually spoke about how influential Ronaldo was on his career as a youngster but it soon ‘ended’.
“He is a hero from my childhood and it was amazing to meet him when I visited Valdebebas,” he said.
“But I am a competitor and a person who is very competitive and all I want to do is win, win, win. So it doesn’t really matter who is in front of us, we want to win.
“I admired him when I was younger, but that ended. Now I go to the Bernabeu to play and to win.
“From someone who has won five Ballons d’Or you can learn a lot. He’s a great player, but I have those here too. Neymar is here and I think he is very similar and is at practically the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo. I learn from [Edinson] Cavani as a goalscorer too.”
You can already sense the incredible hunger Mbappe has for the game.
At the age of 19 years and 192 days, the French star is the fourth youngest player to score in a World Cup knock-out game, after Pelé, Michael Owen & Julian Green.
In fact, only two teenagers have scored two or more goals in a World Cup knockout stage game – Kylian Mbappe and arguably the greatest of all time, Pele.
Even he had something to say after Saturday’s heroics against Argentina in the round of 16 clash.