Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe has revealed he was criticised in the early stages of his career for “not scoring enough goals and showing off”.
The 22-year-old leads the Ligue 1 scoring charts with 20 goals in 25 appearances this term and has netted a further 10 in other competitions.
Mbappe has scored 120 goals in 160 outings for PSG overall since joining in August 2017 from Monaco, where he first made a name for himself at the age of 16.
But the French World Cup winner, who started his youth career with AS Bondy before moving on to Monaco, has admitted he was not always so prolific in front of goal.
“For a long time, in the youth teams, I was criticised for not scoring enough goals and showing off,” he told UEFA.
“In today’s football, you have to score. And to score, you have to practice and work hard in training.”
Quarter-final, here we come !!! pic.twitter.com/Wo8P2ysjAi
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) March 10, 2021
Mbappe has taken the advice on board and is now one of the most sought-after names in world football, regularly earning links to the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“When you’re in the rough, no one else can make you get up,” he said. “You have to be mentally strong and do everything to understand that you can climb mountains.
“When I go out on the pitch, I tell myself that I have to give my best to be the best possible.
“I’m someone with ambition – it’s a scary term, but I see it more as not wanting to set limits. I try to push the limits as much as possible and I want to see where it can lead me.”
Mbappe is currently away on international duty with France and played 77 minutes of Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Ukraine in his side’s opening World Cup qualifier.
Despite that disappointing Group D draw, Les Blues are the favourites of many to go all the way in next year’s finals in Qatar, four years on from their last triumph.
And Mbappe, who has 16 goals in 40 senior caps, is relishing the opportunity to add another World Cup to his collection in the month he turns 24.
“We want to win a second title,” he said. “The World Cup is a culmination of effort, a goal that we work for over a long time.
“I had the chance to win it at 19 and it’s something that helped me progress in my career. There will be other competitions, but my ambition is to win a second World Cup.”