Former Belgium defender Daniel van Buyten has hailed the incredible progress that Kylian Mbappe has made at the World Cup and stated his belief that the youngster is a combination of Ronaldo Nazario, Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo
The 40-year-old has kept a keen eye on Belgium’s “golden generation” this summer as they reached their first World Cup semi-final in 32 years after impressively knocking out Brazil in the last round.
The only thing standing in the way of the Red Devils reaching the final on Sunday is France with the ever-impressive Mbappe, who is continuing his prominent rise in the football world with some stunning performances at the biggest stage.
Van Buyten told Goal: “There is Ronaldo in him, but I think there’s some Cristiano in there too,”
“He has the ability to accelerate, perform ahead of others and be a goalscorer – [Brazilian] Ronaldo had that but he was more of a pure goalscorer.
“Henry was a goalscorer and a worker, too – in fact, I think Mbappe is a good mix of all those players. But don’t forget that he is just a kid.
“He is still progressing enormously and when you see what he can already do… he’s one of the best offensive players in football.
“What’s interesting is knowing that in three, four years he’ll be even stronger. And in addition to that, he’ll only be 22, 23 years old. He’s a diamond and it’s beautiful to see.
“I hope he keeps his head on his shoulders and continues his progress.”
The former Bayern Munich player knows what is required to win major tournaments and gave his take on today’s match between Belgium and France.
“I think it’s more or less equal,” Van Buyten continued.
“It’s not what’s ‘on paper’ that counts. Japan, for example, were ‘on paper’ not as good as Belgium, but led us 2-0. Finally, though, their lack of experience saw them lose 3-2.
“I think that both teams are good but they must show that on the pitch – and also have a little bit of luck.”
As for a winner, he added: “Victory for Belgium, of course!”
“For the score? I think it’ll be 2-1.”