Mbappé is Time magazine’s ‘Future of Soccer’

Kylian Mbappé emerged as a football superstar during the World Cup. (AFP pic)

NEW YORK: Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappé’s rapid rise to global fame has earned the World Cup winner an appearance on the cover of Time magazine’s international edition, to appear on Friday.

Time said Mbappé was a global superstar who “is the future of soccer.”

Mbappé made headlines in September 2017 when he moved from Ligue 1 side Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain for a staggering 180 million euros (RM870 million), a deal that saw the then 18-year-old player handed a reported monthly salary of 1.5 million euros (RM7.2 million).

But the 19-year-old’s stock skyrocketed during this year’s World Cup, where a series of phenomenal displays drew compliments from Brazil legend Pelé on his way to helping France end their 20-year wait to win another World Cup trophy.

Mbappé became the youngest French goalscorer in World Cup history when he struck in a 1-0 win over Peru in the group stages.

The teenager from the gritty Parisian suburb of Bondy then tore apart Argentina, scoring twice and earning a penalty as Les Bleus eliminated the highly-fancied South Americans 4-3 in the last 16 knockout round.

In doing so, Mbappé became only the second teenager, after Pelé in 1958, to score two goals in a World Cup match.

When Mbappé scored with a four-metre strike in the final, a 4-2 win over Croatia, he became only the second teenager to do so, after Pelé, in 1958.

With a total of four goals in the tournament, Mbappé received FIFA’s award for Best Young Player of the World Cup.

Arguably better still were the plaudits from Pelé himself, who said: “If Kylian keeps on equalling my records, I’m going to have to dust off my boots.”