In just over a year, Kylian Mbappe has gone from absolute obscurity to becoming one of the most feared forwards in Europe.

By 90Min
October 25, 2017

France's famed Clairefontaine academy has played host to some of football's greatest names. 

The likes of Nicolas Anelka, Louis Saha, Blaise Matuidi, and none other than Thierry Henry have been schooled at the prestigious institution, but it is one of their more recent graduates that could usurp the lot of them; Kylian Mbappé. 

The 18-year-old arrived at Clairefontaine having been given his first footballing education at AS Bondy, a side managed my his father, Wilfried. After initially being reluctant to draft his five-year-old son into the side due to the objectivity he may have received, Wilfried succumbed as a result of Kylian's persistence, and it was at Bondy that he made such a positive impression that he was promoted to play above his age group, a transition that attracted the attention of Clairefontaine.

Mbappé found himself playing above his age group once more at the famed academy, amongst some of the country's most precocious young footballers. His performances at Clairefontaine resulted in the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Valencia and a host of French clubs vying for his services, with the Blues even managing to get an 11-year-old Mbappé to play a trial game for them - although he opted against joining them despite impressing in an 8-0 win over Charlton. 

The French international duly opted to sign for AS Monaco under his father's guidance - Mbappé senior also acts as his son's agent - where he began playing for the Ligue 1 side's second team; AS Monaco II. 

It didn't take long for Mbappé to break into the first team, making his debut on the 2nd of December 2015, becoming Monaco's youngest ever first team player aged at just 16 years and 347 days young, but it was the be the following season that the boy announced himself. 

Mbappe made 44 appearances for Monaco last season as he put his name up in lights across Europe, scoring 26 and assisting 14 more as he was instrumental in Monaco's run to the Champions League semi-finals and the Ligue 1 title. This form prompted vast comparisons to iconic forward Theirry Henry, such are the similarities between the pair's early career choices and their subsequent playing styles that are tremendously alike. 

Since making his debut not even two years ago, Mbappé has been nominated for the coveted Ballon d'Or award, named in the Champions League Team of the Season and the Ligue 1 Team of the Year, as well as most recently winning the illustrious 'European Golden Boy' award won by the likes of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.

Furthermore, the youngster became the second most expensive player in footballing history after his move to Monaco's Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-Germain, behind only to his new teammate Neymar, joining the Parisians on an initial season long loan where they are obligated to buy the prodigy for around £166m next summer. 

In just over a year, Mbappé has gone from absolute obscurity to becoming one of the most feared forwards in Europe. 

The boy from Bondy has come a long way from sneaking out of the Clairefontaine dormitories, phone in hand to light the path, to get some extra football under his belt in the depths of the night, and his future in the game is certainly as well lit as the Clairefontaine path all those years ago.

You May Like