Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has been so impressed by Kylian Mbappe that he believes his young team-mate can become one of the greatest players ever.
Mbappe has scored 11 goals in eight appearances for PSG already this season, while he reached the pinnacle of the international game in the summer as he helped France win World Cup 2018 by becoming the first teenager since Pele to score in the final.
The rise of the 19-year-old shows no relent and Buffon, himself considered one of the greatest goalkeepers ever, does not forecast any change in the situation.
“If he maintains the desire to be number one, to be a great champion and humility to work to improve, he will have an incredible career ahead of him. And when I say incredible, I mean one of the best in history,” he told Canal+.
“Maintaining the mentality is the biggest obstacle because he is still very young and it could take him maybe 15 years. Having the right mindset over such a long time isn’t easy. It requires a lot of energy. But I’ve told him this because I know he can do it. He has the strength to do it.”
Buffon’s own situation in Paris, meanwhile, is a little more complicated as he has flitted in and out of the team under competition from Alphonse Areola.
“The situation satisfies me a lot because I don’t have the ambition to make 70 matches per season, but I want to play the right ones and play them with quality,” he said.
“I think that to build a strong team, PSG must have two good keepers. Just look at Real Madrid. The future of big teams is like this: having two high-level goalkeepers. And to find the solution to make them both play. I don’t know how I would have reacted at 20, but at 40 it’s perfect for me.”
The veteran has played six times for Thomas Tuchel’s side this season and has conceded only three goals, keeping three clean sheets in the process.
He will miss the midweek Champions League match with Napoli due to suspension.