Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe has been advised how to deal with pressure by France legend Thierry Henry, who has urged him never to “lose the little kid inside of you”.
The Frenchman helped Monaco win the Ligue 1 title in 2016-17 and also played a key role in their run to the Champions League semi-finals, before being snapped up on an initial loan deal by PSG.
He helped the club win a domestic treble in his first season at Parc des Princes and became a permanent member of the squad after his€133 million (£121m/$155m) transfer from Monaco was finalised in the summer of 2018.
Mbappe then added a World Cup winners’ medal to his collection, scoring inFrance’s 4-2 final victory against Croatia in Russia.
The 21-year-old has scored 96 goals in 130 outings for PSG in total, and has 16 strikes to his name in 38 appearances for Les Bleuswith his output in the final third as high as ever at the start of the 2020-21 campaign.
Former Arsenal and France frontman Henry, who was similarly prolific at the height of his playing career, has now offered Mbappe advice on how to ensure his longevity at the highest level.
“Don’t ever lose the little kid inside of you. Sometimes I did, I won’t lie,” the current Montreal Impact boss told the PSG talisman at a promotional event for EA Sportsalongside heavyweight boxing championAnthony Joshua.
“Sometimeswith the pressure, after 10, 11, 12 years you kind of forget about the enjoyable part of the game. Make sure you listen to that kid because you know what, he brought you there.”
Mbappe and Henry were then asked who would win in a race between them, with the former insisting he would have beaten the ex-Barca star in his prime.Henry refused to give adefinitive answer before insistingspeed in possession is the most important thing on the pitch.
“What?! No, no you know what? Listen, we can never know. You need to understand something; it’s not about speed, it’s about how fast you can be with the ball,” Henrysaid.
“This is something that people do not understand. This kid right now, Kylian, put speed on the side, yeah he has speed – but it’s differentto be able to shift the ball, stop it, go with power. To be able to block someone at the same time, shift it on your right, block here, shift it on your left and still have your head up and see what’s happening.”
Mbappe went on to offer an insightinto his killer instinct in the final third, and admitted that he still has a long way to go before emulating multiple Ballon d’Or winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the very highest level.
“When you come one on one with the goalkeeperyou wanna kill him, of course. That’s from me, that’s not something I work on, that comes from me since I was a young kid. I want to kill him, one against one you think you will stop my shot? No. It’s this spirit for me,” he said.
“Sometimes I come to a one on one and I approach it too easy, too sure of myself, too much confidence. I’m not focused on what I want to do, I’m too confident as I’m thinking ‘I can score easily’, but that’s not the good way.
“I know what I have to do, today I see the best players in the world like Messi and Ronaldo and I’m really happy with the start of my career but I have more steps to reach their level and I know what I have to do to be there, I have to improve every day.”
Mbappe also opened up on his disappointment following PSG’s defeat to Bayern Munich in the 2019-20 Champions League final, revealing he struggled to accept the result after working towards the goal of winning the trophy for so long.
“We lost the Champions League Final and people have to understand this; we train all year to be ready for this moment and when you lose, you can’t be happy,” he added. “You can’t be happy because you remember all the sacrifices that you made to arrive there.”
Source : goal.com