The World Cup seen from Italy – Before France – England: Mbappé, ti amo


No matter how hard we look, again and again, we find no Italian origin in Kylian Mbappé. Unfortunately. Here, in La Botte, we would really need it. And it is not Roberto Mancini, the coach of the Nazionale, who will say the opposite from his sofa where, like us, he is watching the 2022 World Cup. By the way, after three weeks of competition, we can derive two advantages from a no – qualification of the Nazionale. The first is that we avoided another elimination in the first round, like in 2010 or 2014. Clever, right? The Germans would do well to learn from it. And the second is that we are free to move. No need to model our program according to the days and times of the matches of the selection: there is none. Free as the air, we tell you. We take advantage of the competition like any ordinary spectator, ristretto in hand.

Last Sunday, orphans of the Serie A matches at 3 p.m., more than five million Italian viewers (5,136,000 according to the audience report) were thus in front of the Rai 1 channel to watch France-Poland. In the country where all the matches of the World Cup are in the clear, a round of 16 remains a difficult event to miss, even more so on a Sunday. And if it would be lying to write that Italy was behind the Blues, it would be a little truer to say that Kylian Mbappé amazed the country. With family, friends, at the bar or in the restaurant, the « Mamma mia! » certainly flared up when the French international scored an exceptional double. Here, in the lands of Giuseppe Meazza, Silvio Piola, Gianni Rivera or even Roberto Baggio, we know how to recognize a fuoriclasse when you see one. The PSG striker is one.

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The day after the match against Poland, the entire Italian press hailed the Bondynois’ performance. A constant in recent years. If Nasser al-Khelaïfi’s PSG is not really in the hearts of the vast majority of observers and tifosi, Kylian Mbappé, he is indeed unanimous. Here are some excerpts from what we could read about him on Monday.

  • Repubblica: « Mbappé is the new Pelé. He has everything: right foot, left foot, head. But he is above all the first player in history to score 9 goals in the World Cups at not even 24 years old. Yesterday, they clocked 35 km/h (…) You wanted the future? Here it is »
  • Gazzetta dello Sport: « He is making two masterpieces to be exhibited at the Louvre, even at the risk of taking soup from environmentalists (…) For the moment, he is the boss of the World Cup (.. .) France has a Martian »
  • La Stampa: « It’s a phenomenon »
  • Corriere della Sera: « The new King of France »

Interviewed by us, Paolo Condò, a great everyday writer La Repubblica and consultant Sky Sport, has agreed to come back in more depth to the one who makes him think of a « four wheel drive car« , as « Ronaldo the Brazilian at the time« . »If we change sports, he reminds me of Alberto Tomba’s way of skiing (gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, editor’s note), he continues. In addition to his dynamic ability which, today, seems unrivaled to me, Mbappé added extraordinary ballistic skill when he is stopped, like the second goal against Poland. If France will win the World Cup, they will certainly win the next Ballon d’Or.” And that falls rather well for “Kyky”, since the journalist is precisely the one who votes for Italy in the election of the prestigious individual award. He would almost already have a voice.

« Mbappé is simply the best player in the world right nowbelieves Matteo Moretto, another colleague based in Milan. For me, it’s on par with the greats. He is a player who can change the balance of a match at any time, like Lionel Messi. He never has a time out, or even a break. He is simply amazing. Messi may be more unpredictable but Mbappé, you can’t contain him. His speed, his physical strength… He has everything of a modern player. I think he’s a very ambitious person. Admittedly, he decided to stay at PSG for economic and project reasons. But I think in two or three years, he will want to try something new. »

Within the editorial staff of Radio Sportiva, which gives great freedom of speech to tifosi every day, we are told that Kylian Mbappé « impress everyone« but remains especially appreciated »by the youngest« . »Those a little older are sometimes irritated by a somewhat selfish and cheeky attitude, as with Neymar, explains a journalist. After, in Italy, there is always a certain reluctance with the French players… Many supporters (of Milan) prefer for example to concentrate on Théo Hernandez and Olivier Giroud, without forgetting Mike Maignan (…) Finally, can -be that (Erling) Haaland is paradoxically more appreciated. »

« He will become a legend »

The day after the victory against Denmark (2-1), La Repubblica wrote that Kylian Mbappé was the « son of the wind« . »The wind has been blowing through him since he was born, it’s the stuff he’s made of, a gusty player and no headwind can slow him down“, could we read in the columns of the generalist daily. Tuesday, in its edition, The Gazzetta dello Sport devoted a double page to the French international. His title ? « He’s the strongest at 23« . With, in the background, photos of Pelé, Maradona, Cruyff, Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. In other words, the table of the big ones. And to add: « Cristiano had his first season with more than 10 league goals at 22, Kylian in the year of his 18. Messi scored his first goal in Qatar in a World Cup knockout game, Kylian did at the first opportunity. Cruyff started at Ajax very young, at 17. Mbappé even more, at 16. The comparison that holds the most is with Pelé, as if a thread linked the two phenomena whose two names rhyme. »

The biggest danger for the Blues? « Walker, the Mbappé kryptonite »

For Paolo Condò, however, it is still too early to place Mbappé in the history of football. « Let’s think about taking advantage of its performance instead.pleads the journalist. To return to my comparison with skiing, you could say that he is a champion who, at the first intermediate level of 24 years, is at the same technical level as Pelé, Maradona and Messi. In terms of trophies, it’s even better » In two editions and eleven matches in the World Cup, Mbappé has scored 9 goals. Enough to equal the career total of Lionel Messi and exceed that of Cristiano Ronaldo (8). He is the first player to reach such a total before his 24th birthday just ahead of Pelé, he also took the opportunity to become the second top scorer for the Blues in the history of the World Cup behind Just Fontaine in the sights (13 goals).

Episode 1: The World Cup seen from Italy – Press, TV, radio: How have the media prepared?
Episode 2 – Andrea Stramaccioni: « Fining Qatari players is useless »
Episode 3: But by the way, who do the Italians support?

« Me, I’ve been in love with Kylian Mbappé since his time in Monacoconcludes the journalist Fabrizio Romano. He is an extraordinary player who can certainly become the best in the world with Erling Haaland. Admittedly, the two are very different. But for me, this competition can be like that between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. I think this is the future of football. Mbappé is the modern player par excellence: speed, quality, goals and an impressive physical structure. He has everything from fuoriclass. I’m always disappointed when I read some reviews about certain career choices related to the transfer window. People speak without knowing. They should understand that when talking about clubs like PSG, Real Madrid and many others, the players always make a lot of money. That’s the only thing that makes the difference. Mbappé is the future of football and he will become a legend. His statistics in competitions prove that he already is. He will write history and win the Ballon d’Or in the future. This is the excellence of French football. » We’re still going to check one last time if he doesn’t have some Italian origins, just to be sure…

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