19: Kylian Mbappé’s astonishing year
Kylian Mbappé has had 12 months that most players can only dream of. Individual honours, domestic trophies, international triumph and as of today, still only 20 years of age. We take a look back over 52 incredible weeks for the #7.
The football season began with a bang for Kylian on 7th January, when Paris Saint-Germain returned to action after the winter break following a 6-1 win over Rennes in the 9th round of the Coupe de France. Les Rouge et Bleu celebrated a resounding 6-1 victory, with two goals coming from the teenager.
The first international triumph of many came at the end of March, when Mbappé scored twice in a friendly for against World Cup hosts Russia, over the next nine months, the Frenchman would rack up nine goals in 18 appearances for his country. Just four days later, Kylian would lift his first piece of silverware for his new club, winning the Coupe de la Ligue against Monaco. Though he didn’t get his name on the score sheet, Paris’ number 7 won Man Of The Match and provided a sublime assist to goalscorer Angel Di Maria, proving again he was more than just a goal poacher.
April 2018 would bring more success for Paris Saint-Germain in the form of the Ligue 1 title. Beating Monaco in resounding fashion at the Parc des Princes in a 7-1 victory, Les Rouge et Bleu capped a wonderful season in style. Against Les Herbiers VF, The Parisians received their third trophy of the season in May. The Coupe de France final at the Stade de France saw Kylian lift the trophy after a 2-0 win in front of 73,000 fans.
To cap of a wonderful season, Mbappé was awarded the National Union of Professional Footballers’ Young Player of the Year award and included in the overall team of the year. It was a magnificent way to cap a hugely successful season for his new club. In total, the attacker made 27 appearances, scoring 13 goals and bagging 8 assists.
After domestic success, attention turned to international matters as Mbappé, still 19, traveled to Russia with his country to attempt to bring home the first World Cup honours since 1998, the year of the striker’s birth. Over six games, Kylian bagged four goals, including a stunning long range strike in the final against Croatia. His pace, skill and confidence in front of goal made him one of the stand out players of the tournament and he earned a place in the World Cup dream team to add to his winner’s medal.
After a short rest, Kylian was back in action for Paris Saint-Germain at the start of the 2018/19 season. Picking up where he left off in Russia, the forward started the season in style with two goals against Guingamp on the 18th August in his side’s season opener. One week later in front of the Parisian faithful, Mbappé added another in a 3-1 victory over Angers.
One month into the campaign, Kylian Mbappé led the line in Paris’ first challenge of the UEFA Champions League against Liverpool, scoring in a game his team were unlucky to lose. More goals followed including four in a single match at home to Lyon on 7th October, and a vital goal in Le Classique in Marseille at the end of October. As his side set an incredible record under new manager Thomas Tuchel of fourteen wins in a row, Kylian confirmed Paris’ place in the knock-out stage of the Champions League with a one goal and two assists against Red Star Belgrade, a victory that ensured Les Rouge et Bleu topped their group. Just days before his birthday, the draw for the next round presented Kylian with another challenge, a two legged tie over English club Manchester United in February and March 2019.
Whilst his club picked up trophies thanks to his efforts, Kylian Mbappé collected several personal awards over the course of his 20th year, including the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player award, the Kopa Trophy, and fourth place finishes in the FIFA Best award, and the prestigious Ballon D’Or award. Still only 20 years old (as of today!), the young French striker is on his way to becoming one of the most exciting players in the game and his club and home city, Paris, as well as his country will be fully behind him as he works towards more success.