Kylian Mbappe Ballon d'OrGetty/GOAL

Kylian Mbappe: I deserve the Ballon d'Or

  • French star hit World Cup final hat-trick
  • Landed another Ligue 1 title with PSG
  • Messi & Haaland leading Golden Ball race

WHAT HAPPENED? The Paris Saint-Germain and France forward is not expected to come into contention for the most prestigious of individual awards, with the likes of Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland leading that race after winning the World Cup with Argentina and a Treble at Manchester City respectively in 2022-23. Mbappe did, however, net a hat-trick in France’s final defeat at Qatar 2022, while he also collected another Ligue 1 title and has hit 54 goals over the course of his outings for PSG and Les Bleus.

WHAT THEY SAID: Quizzed by TF1 on whether he should be in the running to be named the best player on the planet, Mbappe said: “The Ballon d'Or? It's always difficult to talk about an individual trophy, because you have to put yourself forward. It's something that doesn't necessarily go down well with the general public. Do I deserve the Ballon d'Or? With the new criteria, what counts? Catching the eye, scoring goals and making an impact? I think I fit those criteria. I'd say yes, but it's the people who vote and I'm always optimistic.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: A second World Cup crown eluded Mbappe in 2022, while PSG were unable to put themselves in a position to challenge for Champions League glory, but the 24-year-old is taking plenty of positives into the summer. He added: “What can I take away from this season with the French national team? The World Cup, of course. It was special at that time of year. It was a defining moment for everyone. I would have swapped my three goals in the final for an own goal and a victory. We're competitors, history is for the people who tell it. We want to write it. It was difficult to go past the cup without lifting it.”

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IN TWO PHOTOS:

Kylian Mbappe PSG 2022-23Getty

Kylian Mbappe France 2022 World Cup finalGetty

WHAT NEXT? It now remains to be seen where Mbappe will be playing his club football in 2023-24, with the 2018 World Cup winner having informed PSG that he will not be triggering a 12-month extension option in his contract – meaning that he is due to become a free agent in 2024 and may have to be sold this summer while a sizeable fee can still be demanded for his services.

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