Kylian Mbappé on ambition, motivation and Paris Saint-Germain's UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Bayern
A FIFA World Cup winner at 19, there was always the possibility that Kylian Mbappé would feel he had peaked too early, but as Paris prepare to take on Bayern – the side that beat them in last season's UEFA Champions League final – the striker's ambition is still burning.
At 22, the former Monaco man is the youngest player to have made it to 25 UEFA Champions League goals, and is eager to keep ticking targets off his footballing bucket list. "A career is 15 years long," he tells UEFA.com. "Give everything for 15 years, and then afterwards, you'll have time to see what you've done. And you'll have your whole life to say: 'I won this, I did that.'"
I've never said I was going to be the greatest player in history, but I've never put limits on myself. If I get to a certain level, I'm not going to stop myself by putting a barrier up, like: 'If I get there, then that's it, that's my maximum.' No, I try to push my boundaries and see where that takes me. For the moment, it's working well for me, and I'll keep doing that until the end of my career.
Every time I step onto the pitch, I tell myself I'm the best, and yet I've played on the same pitch as [Lionel] Messi and Cristiano [Ronaldo], and they're better players than me! They've done a billion more things than me, but in my head I always tell myself that I'm the best because then you're not putting limits on yourself and you're trying to give the best version of yourself.
On being an entertainer
When I used to go to games, I would pay to be entertained. There are players who are worth the price of the ticket. People come to be entertained. People have all kinds of problems in their lives and they don't come to games to have even more of them. They come to savour it and 'enjoy' it, as they say in English. I don't think you should ever forget that concept of enjoyment. Even if there's an obligation and a pressure to get results, it should never come before your enjoyment, and people come to enjoy themselves. So, that's what we're here to give them.
On staying motivated
Normally, winning a World Cup is the pinnacle of your career. It's something you work for at your club: you spend a few years there and you get to 27, 28, and the World Cup comes around when you're at your peak. I was lucky enough to get stuck into it straight away and win it at 19, and I think that's going to help me for when there'll be other tests. But, for sure, the aim is to win a second because this country has an incredible reservoir of talent and I think we'd be limiting ourselves if we said: 'Right, we've won one, so we can wait another 20 years for the second.'
On playing Bayern in the quarter-finals
For me, the Champions League holds a very important place. We've lost at different stages, we've suffered. I think that if I win it, there'll be a lot of emotion. Even though the World Cup is the Holy Grail, for me, at club level, the Champions League is the best. The Champions League is, as the song says, for 'les meilleures équipes' (the best teams). Bayern are a great team. Now, it's just about being calm and confident in preparation for the first leg in Munich. It's a game that people will be looking forward to watching. It'll be a good game, so everyone needs to be in front of their TVs, and we'll try to put on a good show and hopefully come away with the win.
Photo credit: Paris Saint-Germain