From the moment Atmane Airouche, president of French soccer club AS Bondy, saw Kylian Mbappe, he knew this five-year-old kid would have a big future ahead of him. “He is got eyes in the back of his head. He knows how to anticipate where the ball will go,” Airouche said. When Mbappe scored for France in the final of this year’s World Cup, that future had definitely arrived. Earlier this mouth, he made the cover of Time magazine, which even named him “the future of football”. At age 19,Mbappe has put his heart and soul into soccer for most of his life. “I didn’t have the moments of so-called normal people during adolescence, like going out with friends, enjoying good times,” he told Time.
His hard work isn’t the only reason for his success, if you look at his background, you will see that sport is in his blood. His father is a soccer coach and his mother used to be a handball player. Mbappe began his profession career for a lesser-known club in Monaco in 2015, but within two years, Paris ST Germain paid Euro 180 million (1.4 billion yuan) for Mbappe’s transfer, making him the second most expensive player in the world. He quickly proved he was worth the money by playing a big part last season, in which the club won the biggest competitions in the French league. All players, great, good and average, have heroes. They see a star player and try to be like that player. As a child, Mbappe looked up to Cristiano Ronaldo. But if the Portuguese striker was an inspiration to him, Mbappe says that he wants to be a greater star one day. Speaking to Marca newspaper, Mbappe said that he loves Ronaldo, but believes he can be better than he. “I am a competitor and a person who is very competitive and all i want to do is win, win, win,” he said. Only the years ahead will tell whether he can succeed, but whatever Mbappe does on the pitch, it will likely be remarkable.
Croatian playmaker Luca Modric broke a decade of award dominance by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi after being crowned World Footballer of the Year by FIFA on Monday. Modric was voted FIFA’s best player in the 2017-18 season after winning the Champions League for a fourth time in five seasons with Real Madrid and leading Croatia to its first World Cup final where it lost to French. “This trophy is not just mine,” the 33-year-old midfielder said. “It is for all my Real Madrid teammates. For all my teammates on the Croatia national team. For all the coaches that I have played for.” Messi and Ronaldo had been the only winners of FIFA’s top individual award since 2008,winning five titles each. Modric, who is 5-foot-8,was doubted early in his career because of his height. “These things were not a burden, they only further motivated me,” Modric said at the World Cup. “You don’t have to be a strapping lad to play football.”