Kylian Mbappe rates Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the world’s best players, but doubts either of them will win a record sixth Ballon d’Or this year
Real Madrid and Croatia playmaker Luka Modric is the favourite to win the award after claiming the FIFA and UEFA Player of the Year prizes.
And Mbappe is among those who doubt Ronaldo and Messi will be able to continue their decade-long dominance of the Ballon d’Or due to the outcome of the 2018 World Cup.
While Mbappe’s France defeated Modric’s Croatia in the final at Moscow, both Ronaldo and Messi suffered early exits at the last-16 stage with Portugal and Argentina respectively.
“I don’t think one of them will win the Ballon d’Or this year because it was a World Cup year, and the World Cup takes precedence,” said Mbappe, according to the Independent.
“But if you take the player in the purest form, there’s nobody better yet. This year they were again the best two.
“Messi finished the best goalscorer in Europe; Ronaldo was the top scorer in the Champions League.
“Nobody is doing better at the moment and we can’t say it’s the end of their era because it will only end when somebody else does better than them.”
The teenage forward is in the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist along with France teammates Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, Antoine Griezmann and N’Golo Kante.
Therefore, Mbappe has his fingers crossed that a Frenchman will be named the victor.
“Frankly, I hope so,” Mbappe said when asked if a Frenchman should win the Ballon d’Or.
“We achieved something big. It would not be unjust because that is a strong word, but it would be a shame if a Frenchman does not win it.
“We made history and it would be nice to be rewarded.”