Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, a late legend of Brazilian football, always had a soft place for numerous players, but Kylian Mbappe of France was perhaps the one with whom he connected the most.
When Mbappe initially made an appearance in 2017 while playing for Monaco, Pele immediately praised the young French forward.
The two had a few in-person encounters and formed a lovely friendship.
Every time Pele watched the Paris Saint-Germain forward play, he saw a lot of himself in him.
Despite having the Argentina captain Lionel Messi and the Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo as his boyhood heroes, Mbappe has always regarded Pele as the genuine Greatest Player of All Time (GOAT).
The 23-year-old possesses all the qualities Pele did when he was younger.
Pele was a talent that transcended generations, and Mbappe is experiencing something very similar with France.
In July 2018, Pele thanked Mbappe for matching his World Cup record of 60 years in France’s 4-3 victory against Argentina.
Pele praised Mbappe on December 18, 2022, after the match concluded in a 3-3 draw after extra time and France lost to Argentina on penalties 4-2 in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In his professional football career, Pele won three World Cups for Brazil, whereas Mbappe has only ever won one World Cup—the 2018 tournament in Russia.
Can Mbappe win three World Cup championships as Pele did before he ends his football career?
“Mbappe is a very outstanding player and will no doubt be among the greatest players in football,” Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) FC head coach, Abubakar Ibrahim told DAILY POST.
“He is still young yet has shown us what he is capable of. He has already claimed five domestic titles in France and scored 250 career goals. At the age of 18, he won the 2018 World Cup, which was his first.
“He has given us a performance to remember, too, at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar against Argentina, where he bagged a hat-trick in the final. I truly believe on my part that he will be able to equal Pele’s three World Cup trophies even though it is not an easy feat to accomplish. He is just outstanding.”
Mbappe was always one of the first to message Pele whenever there was a health update.
Pele tragically passed away on December 29, 2022, at the age of 82, after a protracted battle with colon cancer.
In a statement on his Instagram page, Mbappe lamented Pele’s passing, referring to him as a “football king” and stating that his legacy would never be forgotten.
“Well, Pele’s death is a huge miss to all football fans and players all around the world,” Ibrahim told DAILY POST while paying his tribute to the late football icon.
“A poor black boy from Brazil rose to become one of the greatest footballers to ever walk the earth. As early as 17 years old, he has already won his first World Cup.
“He has lifted the World Cup three times and shown us that nothing is impossible. He has a total of 757 goals in 812 official matches. He was an artist on the pitch even if he didn’t use a brush and pen but the magic of his feet and the ball. He has left us, but his legacy will surely continue,” he added.
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