Mbappe compared to Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar, Pele and Maradona at 19
Kylian Mbappe has been the main attraction for France at the 2018 World Cup. The young Paris Saint-Germain striker had another great performance in a 1-0 win over Belgium in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, which sent Les Bleus to the final in Moscow against Croatia.
At only 19 years old, Mbappe already has numbers compared to the great Pele at the same age. But how were were other soccer stars doing when they were 19?
On the day he turned 19, Messi played for Argentina against Mexico in the 2006 World Cup. He only played in three of Argentina's five matches in Germany for a total of just minutes. Messi had already won two Spanish league titles and one Champions League titles with Barcelona when he arrived in that tournament.
At 19, Ronaldo played at Euro 2004 in what was his first tournament with the Portuguese national team. He played in six matches, four of them as a starter. In that competition, in which Portugal fell to Greece in the final, he scored his first goal with the team. Domestically, he'd played one season with Manchester United in the Premier League.
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The Brazilian still played for Santos at 19, where he'd won a Copa do Brasil and the Copa Libertadores in 2011. For the Brazil national team, he had made his debut a year earlier against the United States and scored a goal in that friendly. On the personal side, the striker became a father at 19.
At the same age as Mbappe, Diego Armando Maradona was still at the Argentinos Juniors club In Buenos Aires, where he made his professional debut before turning 16. He made his national team debut at the age of 16 but was left out of the 1978 World Cup by coach Cesar Luis Menotti. However, he broke into the U-19 World Championship the following year with six goals, the title and best player award.
Made his professional debut at 15, was called to the Brazilian team at 16, scoring six goals, and won the championship in his first World Cup at 17. Pele's numbers are impressive in his early career. For Santos, he had already won two Paulistas and a Sao Paulo tournament by the time he was 19.