Paul Pogba has conceded that Kylian Mbappe has “much more talent” than he does, with the Manchester United midfielder accepting that he was never as promising as his France team-mate.
A man who returned to Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 as part of an £89 million transfer package knows all about being billed as the next big thing.
Now 25 years old, Pogba was tipped to be the future of French football upon making the breakthrough at United and starring for Serie A giants Juventus.
While Pogba has struggled at times to fulfil his promise, Mbappe is already being spoken about as a future Ballon d’Or winner.
At the age of 19, the Paris Saint-Germain forward is backing up his eye-catching displays at club level with talismanic showings at World Cup 2018 – with a match-winning brace recorded in a thrilling 4-3 victory over Argentina at the last 16 stage of that tournament.
Pogba told reporters after witnessing Mbappe’s stunning performance in a hard-fought victory: “Kylian has much more talent than I have.
“Do you see what he is doing at his age? No, I never had his talent.
“He has so much speed… he’s a forward, he can’t be compared with me.”
Mbappe took his World Cup goal tally to three with a deadly double against Argentina which saw him match the teenage achievements of Brazil icon Pele.
He had previously netted the only goal of the game in a group-stage victory over Peru, with that effort helping France to top their standings and move into the last 16 unbeaten.
A quarter-final outing is next on the agenda, with Les Bleus set to face either Portugal or Uruguay.
Pogba and Mbappe will have important roles to play in that contest, with Didier Deschamps looking to key men to continue providing inspiration as his class of 2018 seek to emulate what he achieved as France captain 20 years ago.