Kylian Mbappe has revealed the ego trick that makes him believe his skills are unparalleled, even if the opposition include Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Paris Saint-Germain and France striker has opened up on the issue, explaining how his achievements have been fuelled by enormous self-confidence.
He already has one over on Messi and Ronaldo, having won a World Cup with Les Bleus, and is racking up the trophies at club level.
Mbappe knows the reality is that the Argentina and Portugal superstars have achieved far more than he has managed, but the thinking that Mbappe adopts every time he takes to the pitch sets aside such matters.
Messi might be Barcelona’s record scorer by a massive margin, and Ronaldo jumped to the top of Real Madrid’s all-time list during a scintillating nine-year stint in Spain, but Mbappe puts such matters out of his mind on the pitch.
In an interview with French broadcaster RMC Sport, Mbappe said of egotism: “Of course it’s important, because when you’re having a tough time, no one other than yourself is going to push you.
“And you have to convince yourself that you are capable of toppling mountains. People don’t understand ego, but when you are not doing well, there’s no one who will come to your house to tell you that you are able to do that.
“It is only you and your mindset. You have to persuade yourself that you are capable of doing great things.
“Every time I go on a pitch, I always tell myself that I’m the best and yet I have played on pitches where there was Messi and Cristiano.
“They are better players than me, they’ve done a billion more things than me. But in my head, I always tell myself that I’m the best, because that way you don’t give yourself limits and you try to give the best of yourself.
“Of course, sometimes people don’t understand because I think that there is perhaps also this barrier that is created in relation to this subject, where one does not really explain what ego is.
Sin tituloFrance’s forward Kylian Mbappe sits on a ball during warm up prior to starting on the bench for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification Group D football match between Kazakhstan and France, at the Astana Arena, in Nur-Sultan, on March 28, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) FRANCK FIFE (AFP)
“People will think ego is not giving a penalty to a friend, or to have a better salary than the player on the rival team. It’s not just that, it’s also in the preparation. It’s something personally, surpassing yourself, it’s really beyond this superficial thing of saying ‘me I, me I’. But I think there’s quite a lot to be said about that.”
Mbappe is building up the data to support his self-belief. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, when he was a 17-year-old Monaco player, Mbappe has racked up 146 club goals at a rate of one every 103.99 minutes.
That haul covers all club competitions and puts Mbappe fifth on the list of players from Europe’s top five leagues. Only Robert Lewandowski (221), Messi (210), Ronaldo (181) and Harry Kane (151) are ahead of him.
Among players with more than 100 goals in the same timespan, only Messi (89) has had more assists than the 65 Mbappe has managed.