Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Kylian Mbappe has said he knew Lionel Messi would clinch his eighth Ballon d’Or as soon as he helped Argentina to FIFA World Cup glory in Qatar last year.
Kylian Mbappe Says Lionel Messi Is “One Of The Best” Players In History
Inter Miami superstar Messi claimed his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or at a swanky gala in Paris on October 30. Manchester City ace Erling Haaland and PSG’s Mbappe finished second and third, respectively.
Messi’s eighth Ballon d’Or triumph was fueled by Argentina’s successful FIFA World Cup campaign in Qatar in 2022. The 36-year-old pitched in with seven goals and three assists in seven games as La Albiceleste bagged their first World Cup in 36 years. Messi scored a brace as his team beat Mbappe’s France in a nail-biting shootout in the final.
In an interview with ESPN, Mbappe talked about Messi’s Ballon d’Or win. The 24-year-old said he knew his former PSG teammate would clinch the individual accolade the moment he fired Argentina to glory. He stated:
“I knew he would win it [Ballon d’Or] the night of the World Cup final.
“Messi deserves it. If he wins the World Cup he has to win the Ballon d’Or. He is one of the best in history, if not the best.”
Mbappe Defends Merit Of Messi’s Ballon d’Or Win, Says It Was A Fair Win
Both Mbappe and Haaland had enjoyed a superior campaign in club soccer last season. While Mbappe scored 41 goals and claimed 10 assists in 43 matches to help PSG to the Ligue 1 title, Haaland scored 52 times and provided nine assists in 53 games to propel City to the Treble. Messi, meanwhile, scored 21 times and claimed 20 assists in 41 games for the Parisians.
In the aftermath of Messi’s Ballon d’Or win, some questioned the merit of the award, suggesting he was not the deserving candidate. Mbappe, however, does not share that belief, as he thinks a World Cup win triumphs all other club competitions.
“It’s true that Erling Haaland and I had a good season, but that next to a World Cup won by Messi, there is no comparison,” the France striker concluded.