Kylian Mbappé has scored 300 career goals faster than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Former France boss Thierry Henry has nothing but respect.
Mbappé achieved the feat over the weekend in a 14-0 rout of Gibraltar at the age of 24 years and 333 days. Both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the game’s two biggest stars in the 21st century, were older when they reached the milestone.
“What this kid is doing is really out of this world,” said Henry, who is now in charge of guiding the new generation of French players as coach of the Under-21 team. “It’s incredible.”
Mbappé was often compared to Henry earlier in his career. Both attended France’s Clairefontaine academy before playing as left-wingers at Monaco, where they each won French league titles as teenagers. Mbappé then made another one of Henry’s achievements when he won the 2018 World Cup in his first major tournament with France. Henry won the 1998 competition.
Mbappé has been compared to the great Pelé of Brazil because of his effort. But stylistically, with his devastating speed and skill, he is closer to Henry.
“He’s a goalscorer, he delivers assists, he knows how to do everything,” Henry said. “Of course, there is room for improvement, but that is not the point.”
With his 17th career hat-trick, Mbappé took his season tally to 21 goals in 19 games. It was the PSG star’s 46th goal in 74 international appearances. He is just five goals behind Henry on France’s all-time goalscoring list and 10 behind Olivier Giroud’s overall national team record.
The exact number of goals in Pelé’s career will forever be a matter of debate. He often said that one of the reasons he should be considered the greatest player of all time was because of his achievement of scoring more than 1,000 goals. But many people dispute his count because Pelé included goals scored in friendly matches or in matches against semi-professional or even amateur teams.
When asked how many goals Mbappé could score, Henry jokingly hinted at the 1,000 mark, then said “it’s up to him to decide.”
“He is a man who watches soccer, prepares himself well, does everything and nothing, his professionalism and desire to play is always there,” said Henry. “300 goals? There are some people who haven’t managed that even in training.”
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