Kylian Mbappe explains classy Cristiano Ronaldo gesture that has helped his career

Kylian Mbappe explains classy Cristiano Ronaldo gesture that has helped his career

PORTUGAL vs FRANCE: Kylian Mbappe will come face-to-face with his idol Cristiano Ronaldo in Hamburg on Friday night, and he wants to end his Euros career

Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo will come face-to-face again (
Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Forget the tears, temper tantrums and tiresome antics, Cristiano Ronaldo has always got time for his fans. But that isn’t stopping his biggest one from wanting to end his European Championship career.

France talisman Kylian Mbappe comes face-to-face with his idol having gone from staring at posters of Ronaldo on his bedroom wall to taking his old place in attack for Real Madrid. Mbappe is in no doubt about the 39-year-old’s place among the greats, and also his own ability to join him there.

“I think that he is one of a kind,” said France captain Mbappe. “There is only one Cristiano Ronaldo. There will only ever be one. I hope that I will be able to be one of a kind at Real Madrid. But it will be completely different, and I can only sing his praises.

“I’m following my own path. My dream of playing at Madrid is now becoming a reality. I hope that I will also be able to leave a mark on football, but I am not going to write the next chapter of Cristiano’s story.”

Mbappe has plenty of his own exciting storylines ahead following his much-vaunted transfer and this quarter-final on what has become the heavyweight side of the draw.

But if he’s celebrating a place in the last four this evening, then he knows he’ll owe a bit of that success to Ronaldo’s influence on him.

“Over time I’ve been very lucky to brush shoulders with him, to get to know him and have a chat with him,” said Mbappe.

Mbappe says Ronaldo has been a big influence on his career
Mbappe says Ronaldo has been a big influence on his career 
Image:
UEFA via Getty Images)


“We’re still in contact and he’s always helping me. He keeps up with what’s going on in my life, and he gives me tips.

“So it’s an honour for me, when we think about what he’s done for the footballing world, regardless of what happened before or after, he will be a footballing legend. But I hope we’re going to win and get to the semi-finals.”

The tournament hasn’t exactly gone to plan for either Ronaldo or Mbappe so far, with the Portugal skipper in tears midway through extra-time in the last-16 tie with Slovenia after seeing his penalty saved by Jan Oblak.

Ronaldo endured a torrid night in the last-16 against Slovenia
Ronaldo endured a torrid night in the last-16 against Slovenia 


Image:
Getty Images)
Mbappe’s most painful moment came in France’s first match when he broke his nose against Austria, with the forward being required to wear a protective mask in matches and training ever since.

He admits he’s not a fan of the mask, calling it “an absolute horror” prior to the last-16 win over Belgium, but he says that horror is a necessary evil.

“Truth be told I’m lucky, because without the mask I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t be playing,” he admitted.

“So I should be thanking the mask! But it’s not going to change in this match or for the rest of the competition. I’m lucky to be playing, and I’m going to give it my all.”

Ousmane Dembele could return to the France side in place of the suspended Adrien Rabiot, with Antoine Griezmann dropping deeper into midfield.

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