‘An honour’ to face Ronaldo, says Mbappe

Spread the love

Screenshot 2024 07 05 033304

Kylian Mbappe says it is “an honour” to play against Cristiano Ronaldo as France prepare to take on Portugal in their Euro 2024 quarter-final.
Frenchman Mbappe, 25, signed for Real Madrid this summer – a club where Ronaldo won four successive Champions League titles.
The two will go head-to-head in Hamburg on Friday (kick-off 20:00 BST) and Mbappe describes it as “a pleasure” to face Portugal’s five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

“It’s the admiration I’ve always had for Cristiano, for the player. Over time, I’ve had the chance to get to know him 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, 39, said this week it would be his last Euros so this showdown with Mbappe is being described as a “handover” between two great players.
But Mbappe says the Portugal legend is “unique” and he will follow his own path when he begins his stint with Madrid.
“There will only be one [Ronaldo] I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to start living my dream as a player in Madrid,” he added.
“I hope I’ll write a great story there, but I’m certainly 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 just 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.”
‘It’s not about Mbappe v Ronaldo’
Manchester City and Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva played with Mbappe at Monaco and said he always “stood out from the crowd”.
“Kylian is a wonderful player and started with us at AS Monaco when he was 16. I remember after his first week we would say ‘who’s this kid?’” added Silva.
“I am so delighted for him that he was able to have a wonderful career. I wish him the best but not [against us] obviously. I want us to qualify.”
But Silva would not be drawn on comparisons between Mbappe and Ronaldo.
“It’s not about Kylian and Cristiano – it’s about Portugal and France. They are both two unbelievable players,” said Silva.
“Cristiano is one of the best to ever play the game. Kylian is still going through the beginning or middle of his career. But it’s not about them. As Portugal, we want to go through and qualify for the semi-finals.”
Portugal boss Roberto Martinez has faced criticism for his team selection and their performance so far in the tournament.
They needed extra time and a penalty shootout to overcome Slovenia in their last-16 tie on Monday.
“Criticism is part of the job description. Criticism shows how passionate people are about the national team and I accept that,” said Martinez.
“I believe we have very important players and a very competitive dressing room. I see them every day in training so can make decisions.
“In the qualifying campaign, we won 10 matches and I was criticised. I’m not focused on myself. My job is to help our players perform as best we can and that’s what I promise all fans.”

Source link

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Comodo SSL