Christiano Ronaldo has elevated himself to a massive level of fame globally. This fame earned through not only his play on the pitch, but also what he has done with Social Media and marketing. Ronaldo’s personality is larger than life, and he has kept his personal life clean of any big stains or mishaps. He is a class model of what the modern athlete should strive to be today. Arsenal legend Bacary Sagna describes CR7, “For me he’s a role model for young players. He’s dedicated to what he does. At every level, his diet, the way he manages his life, his career, his image, and his money too.”
So who is the one to follow in CR7’s footsteps?
The young man Kylian Mbappe, born in France to a Cameroonian father and an Algerian mother, has blossomed into the next young Footballing superstar.
Following his youth career, Kylian grew up through the Monaco academy program starting in 2016. It was there where he had his breakthrough as a player, dominating Ligue 1 in France as well as dazzling in UEFA Europa League matches. He became a household name in France, which ultimately caught the eye of French giant, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
PSG signed Mbappe on loan from Monaco in 2017. Through that loan deal, he was rumored to be the most expensive teenager on the planet. A loan deal that required 145 million euros for PSG to transfer him over the following year. This was a massive price tag for such a youngster. Christiano Ronaldo’s transfer fee at the same age was only around 25 million euros, even though it was a different market in 2004. Mbappe has broken the ceiling of young player price tags.
Established himself is an understatement for what happened at PSG from then on. Mbappe won Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 2018, finishing with 33 goals in the season. Also in that same season, Mbappe scored 4 goals in 15 minutes against Lyon, as well as scoring a hattrick in a 9-0 win against Guingamp, which would prove to be PSG’s most dominant win in history.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia was where Mbappe was able to shine on the most global of stages. He scored in a 1-0 win over Peru for the French National Team, making him the youngest goal scorer in country history. He was awarded ‘Man of the Match’ against Argentina in a 4-3 win for his 2 goal effort. In the final against Croatia, he scored a deep strike in a 4-2 win to seal the deal as FIFA World Cup Champions. He became the young face of not only French soccer, but global soccer as well.
In 2019/20, Mbappe continued to dominate the league with PSG. He won the ‘Golden Boot’ back-to-back seasons, and PSG were crowned League Champions. On top of that, he signed a 10 year, 162 million euro extension deal with Nike from his previous deal signed at the age of 18 in 2017. Nike, the same brand partnered with Christiano Ronaldo, since 2003 when Ronaldo was 18.
Mbappe continues to also hold onto his brand deal with Hublot, a Swiss watchmaking company. He signed a deal with them in 2018 as a 19 year old. On top of that, he stars on the cover of FIFA 21 made by EA Sports. This includes rights to his signature celebrations and other aspects of his life being in the game, further adding to the amount of money made on his end. He’s even signed a recent two year deal with Good Gout, an organic French Food company. Mbappe has taken advantage of the business opportunities made to him at such a young age, and it is a keen resemblance of Christiano and his deals with Tag Heur and Herbalife.
Mbappe has a massive prescence on Social Media with his 45.6 million followers on Instagram, that number being 13 million more than his own club’s instagram account. This presence has allowed him to enhance not only his own brand deals, but also his philanthropy. He has donated millions of his own money to youth development programs in West Africa, as well as donations to various homeless shelter organizations and groups throughout France.
As for this season, Mbappe has 12 goals in 13 league matches. In the UEFA Champions League, he has scored twice and led his team to the lucrative knockout stage of the tournament.
Every young kid in France wants to be him, people all across the world from Africa to America to Asia buy his #7 PSG kit. Mbappe is on a steady rise of fame, and is poised to come into the limelight as a Ronaldo type athlete. He is great in interviews, speaks Spanish quite well and even knows some English. He is the man with the skills on and off the field.
Could he be the next CR7 of our generation? Or should I say KM7?
Keep an eye out for him in Ligue 1 and UEFA Champions if you haven’t already, the young man is an absolute star.