Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed he saw Pele in Kylian Mbappe from the very moment he first set eyes on him.
The 20-year-old forward has already achieved things in his short career that most footballers can only dream about and appears destined for a long and glorious future.
Mbappe first rose to prominence at AS Monaco during the 2016/17 campaign, where he became a regular scorer to help the club win the Ligue 1 title over the heavily-fancied Paris Saint-Germain.
The Parisians then secured a €180m transfer for Mbappe’s services the following season to make him the world’s second most expensive player of all-time behind team-mate Neymar, who arrived from Barcelona for €222m.
Mbappe later helped PSG claim a domestic treble in his debut campaign and then went on to win the World Cup with France last summer at Russia, which saw him even score their last goal in the 4-2 win over Croatia in the final at Moscow.
It meant that Mbappe, who was 19 at the time, became only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final after Pele, who managed a brace in Brazil’s 5-2 victory over Sweden in the 1958 final.
Since then, The French youngster has been regularly compared to the legendary Pele.
And this season has seen Mbappe reach even greater heights with 25 goals and 14 assists in 30 appearances for PSG.
Lyon defender Marcelo claimed this week that stopping Mbappe has proven to be an even more daunting task than five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
Now Wenger has given his verdict on Mbappe and recalled the moment he first saw him in action.
“When I saw him the first time in the first period, I said: ‘It’s Pele,'” Wenger told CNN.
“He has a combination of pace, intelligence, relaxed attitude to deal with stress. You cannot give that to people.
“It looks like all the ingredients are there. Now for him, it’s how much does he continue to improve and how much can he keep a rigorous attitude to think: ‘Okay, where do I go from there.’
“When a guy is a world champion at 20 years of age, has won championships — two or three already — what can you say? And the numbers don’t lie. He’s an exceptional football player and France is gifted to have him.”
Mbappe will likely feature for PSG today in their Ligue 1 match against Nimes at home with kick-off set for 5:00 PM (CET).