Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel has given his verdict on the comparisons surrounding World Cup star Kylian Mbappe and Barcelona ace Lionel Messi, stating that while the Frenchman is not Messi, but he is on the right path to becoming one of the best goalscorers in the world.
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After having impressed at Monaco, Mbappe moved to Ligue 1 champions PSG in August 2017 and has since become a regular in Tuchel’s squad.
The Frenchman reached the 50-goal mark in all competitions for PSG after netting a brace against Caen last Saturday. The 20-year-old boasts of 50 goals and 28 assists in just 76 appearances for the Ligue 1 leaders.
This season, Mbappe has 24 Ligue 1 goals under his belt, only one behind Messi’s 25 in LaLiga.
It is no surprise that the Messi comparisons began considering the incredible skill and stats backing Mbappe at his age.
The heart of the matter
Tuchel, however, does not seem to think that the comparisons are accurate, stating that while Mbappe is a tremendous goal-scorer, he is not Messi.
Speaking with Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport (via Sport English), the manager said, “The boy is hungry and has a great personality at 20 years old.”
“It’s not always easy (to manage him) because the big personalities don’t always choose the easy path. He challenges me as a coach and at the same time, is an extraordinary boy. For me it’s necessary to have this type of personality. To challenge me, to challenge those around him, and because he has the hunger to be a truly special player in history.”
“Kylian is a goalscorer, he’s not a Messi. He could be the best scorer in the world and he’s on the right path. I’ve never thought about the comparisons, but (Ronaldo Nazario) is a good example, I agree.”
While PSG are getting ready to face Manchester United in the second leg of their Champions League fixture, Barcelona will face Girona in the Supercopa de Catalunya on Wednesday.