• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Euro 2024: An honour to play against Ronaldo – Mbappe

Mbappe-Ronaldo

Real Madrid star Kylian Mbappe has expressed excitement about playing against his boyhood hero Cristiano Ronaldo when France and Portugal clash in the quarter-finals of Euro 2024 in Hamburg on Friday.

The 25-year-old French forward, who signed with Real Madrid this summer—a club where Ronaldo clinched four successive Champions League titles—spoke about the thrill of playing against the Portuguese superstar in their upcoming match.

“It is an honour. Everyone knows about my admiration for Cristiano,” said Mbappe, now captain of the French national team.

Growing up, Mbappe adorned his bedroom wall with pictures of Ronaldo and even met him at Real Madrid’s training ground when the Spanish club tried to sign him as a teenager.

“It’s the admiration I’ve always had for Cristiano, for the player. Over time, I’ve had the chance to get to know and talk to him many times. We’re still in touch,” said Mbappe.

“He’s always trying to give me advice and keep up to date with what’s going on. Playing against him is an honour for everything he’s done in football. No matter what happened before or what happens after, he’ll always be a legend of the game. But of course, we hope to win and reach the semi-finals.”

Ronaldo, now 39, announced this week that Euro 2024 will be his last, making this showdown with Mbappe a symbolic “handover” between two football greats. However, Mbappe insists that Ronaldo’s legacy is unique and unmatched.

“There will only be one Ronaldo,” he said.

“I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to start living my dream as a player in Madrid. I hope I’ll write a great story there, but I’m not going there to write the rest of Cristiano’s story. What he did in Madrid is unique.

“You have to appreciate what he has been, what he is. I’ve never been an envious person, so I want to admire the greatness of the player. He left his mark on the history of football. He inspired generations. He has scored many goals and won many titles. So his CV speaks for itself.”

Mbappe is eager to take on Portugal’s five-time Ballon d’Or winner in Hamburg, and the world will be watching as these two football giants meet on the field.