'Mbappe can become the new Pele!' - Brazilian legend full of praise for PSG star

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The Brazil legend has tipped the French forward to match his footballing achievements

Three-time World Cup winner Pele has backed Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe to match his glittering career achievements.

Pele is widely considered to be one of the game’s greatest ever players having burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old at the 1968 World Cup, helping Brazil win the tournament for the first time.

He would go on to win the World Cup again in 1962 and 1970, becoming the first player to win the tournament three times. He is also the all-time leading goalscorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 92 games.

At the domestic level, Pele won 25 major honours in an 18-year career with Santos, including six Brasileirao titles and two Copa Libertadores.

Such sustained success still seems a long distance away for Mbappe who, at just 20, is still in the very infancy of his career.

However, there are already some similarities with his achievements so far and Pele’s early career.

Like Pele, Mbappe is a teenage World Cup winner and already has a clutch of domestic titles to his name.Kylian Mbappe France World Cup

As a result the 78-year-old says comparisons between himself and the young forward are not unwarranted.

"He won the World Cup at nineteen, I was only seventeen,” Pele told France Football. “I teased him saying he had almost equalized.

“I think he can become the new Pele! Many people think I said that to laugh, but no, it's not a joke."

Mbappe became Monaco's youngest-ever first-team player aged 16 years 347 days when he came on as a substitute against Caen in December 2015.

The Paris-born forward soon became a regular in the Monaco side the following season, helping the club win the 2016-17 Ligue 1 title aged just 18.

In March of that year Mbappe made his international debut for France as a second half substitute in a World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg aged 18 years, three months and five days. In doing so he became the second youngest player to feature for Les Bleus after Maryan Wisniewski in 1995.

His upward career trajectory continued the following campaign with a high-profile move to Paris Saint-Germain, where he would go on to win the domestic treble.

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But Mbappe’s domestic achievements would soon be put in the shade by his exploits in Russia last summer.

He scored four goals as France won the World Cup for the second time as well as winning the tournament's Best Young Player award.

More silverware is likely to follow this season. He has scored 17 goals in 23 games so far to help PSG build up a 13-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 as well as progressing through to the last 16 of the Champions League.

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