Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe told AFP on Thursday that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi remain football ’ s greatest players but that his own World Cup heroics could help crown him as the 2018 Ballon d ’ Or winner.
Mbappe, 19 , helped France to World Cup victory in Russia as his four goals included one in the 4 – 2 final victory over Croatia as he became just the second teenager after Pele in 1958 to score in the championship match .
He was also voted Young Player of the tournament and has since become Ligue 1 ’ s leading scorer with 11 goals as Paris Saint -Germain run away with the French championship .
Messi and Ronaldo have won the last 10 Ballon d ’ Or awards and Mbappe believes that they are still the sport ’ s top A- listers .
“ 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, ” Mbappe told AFP .
However , the young striker added: “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 . ”
While Mbappe thrived at the World Cup , Messi ’ s Argentina and Ronaldo ’ s Portugal bowed out in the last 16 .
Mbappe was speaking at an event organised by watchmakers Hublot , one of his leading sponsors.