Mbappe joins Messi, Neymar & Balotelli in exclusive cover club as Time honour 'the future of soccer'

The teenage Paris Saint-Germain striker has seen his achievements, which include a World Cup win, recognised by a prestigious American magazine

Kylian Mbappe has become just the fourth footballer after Lionel Messi, Neymar and Mario Balotelli to grace the cover of Time magazine, with the Paris Saint-Germain striker being hailed as “the future of soccer”.

At just 19 years of age, the Frenchman has become a global superstar and achieved more than most players do over the course of an entire career.

Already a two-time Ligue 1 title winner and World Cup champion, the talented teenager is also among the nominees for the 2018 Ballon d’Or.

His standing as an iconic figure of the present and future has now been recognised by a prestigious American publication, with Time giving him top billing in their latest offering.

They have been quick to hail both the sporting and social impact of a man whose stunning rags-to-riches tale has seen him transcend his chosen profession.

Few footballing figures have been afforded such coverage down the years, with Mbappe now part of an exclusive club which includes some of the most colourful and decorated personalities in the game.

“My life has been totally turned upside down,” the PSG starlet told Time on his meteoric rise to prominence.

“I am happy, and I am living the life I always dreamed of.”

Kylian Mbappe Time magazine

Mbappe counters that by saying: “I think I might have missed out on something.

“I did not have the moments of so-called normal people during adolescence, like going out with friends, enjoying good times.”

Mbappe is enjoying himself right now, though, and there seems little chance of him being swept up in the hype which continues to rage around him.

Despite all that he has accomplished, with his profile now stretching to every corner of the globe, he remains grounded and as driven as ever to ensure that he is the best version of himself he can possibly be, on and off the field.

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He added: “I have learned that the biggest stars and the greatest players are the most humble ones, the ones who respect people the most.

“You always have to keep some lucidity.

“There are three criteria: respect, humility and lucidity.”

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