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'Phenomenon' Mbappe will definitely win the Ballon d'Or - Di Maria

09:27 GMT 16/01/2019
Kylian Mbappe PSG 2018
The France international forward continues to set Ligue 1 alight and his team-mate at the French champions feels he can become an all-time great

Angel di Maria is positive that Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe is a future Ballon d'Or winner, hailing the France international forward as a "phenomenon".

Mbappe was named as the inaugural winner of the Trophee Kopa for the world's best young player at the 2018 Ballon d'Or ceremony and many have tipped him to go onto claim the main prize in the years to come.

He currently leads the Ligue 1 scoring charts for this season with 14 goals, and Di Maria is in no doubt that if he continues to develop he can become an all-time great.

"Kylian is a phenomenon," he told  France Bleu . "Since his exit from Monaco he has grown a lot as a player and produced an extraordinary World Cup.

"If he continues like this, surrounded by team-mates with great potential, he will evolve further and will certainly win the Ballon d'Or."

While Mbappe and Neymar grab most of the footballing headlines in the French capital, Di Maria has emerged as a key player for manager Thomas Tuchel since his arrival at Parc des Princes.

Di Maria's form saw him sign a new three-year contract in October, and he is thrilled to be playing more of a pivotal role having been in and out of the side under previous coach Unai Emery.

"He has great confidence in me because last year I could not play as much as I wanted," he said of former Borussia Dortmund boss Tuchel.

"When he arrived we had a meeting. He came to see me in Barcelona when I was with the Argentina squad and he simply told me that he wanted me to stay, that there was no other option.

"What matters to me is to give my best, to give him the affection he has for me and to prove myself to him on the field.

"Unai Emery was playing a system with three forwards, so now I'm happy to play [more].

"I know I also have to work defensively to balance the team, but that's all good as long as I am playing."

PSG currently sit 13 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table and look assured of winning their sixth domestic league title in seven years.

Les Parisiens are back in action on Saturday when they host Guingamp in Ligue 1 as they look to exact revenge for their shock Coupe de la Ligue exit at the hands of the same side earlier this month.