“He’ll always be a legend” – France Captain Kylian Mbappe Honored To Face Portugal Legend Cristiano Ronaldo In EURO 2024 Quarters

Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe
Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe

France superstar Kylian Mbappe has called Portugal icon Cristiano Ronaldo a legend of the game, saying it will be an “honor” to play against him in the 2024 European Championship (EURO 2024) quarter-finals.

Kylian Mbappe Hails Soccer Legend Cristiano Ronaldo Ahead Of EURO 2024 Clash

Arguably the best player in the world, Mbappe, has idolized Ronaldo all his life. From hanging the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s posters in his boyhood room to singing his praises every opportunity he gets, Mbappe has never tried his hide how much he worships the 39-year-old.

On Friday night (July 5), his France will face his idol’s Portugal for a place in the EURO 2024 semi-finals. And unsurprisingly, he had nothing but good to say about the Real Madrid legend. When asked to share his thoughts about facing Ronaldo, the 25-year-old said in the pre-match press conference (via GOAL):

It’s an honor. 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. He’s always trying to give me advice and keep up to date with what’s going on. 

It’s a pleasure. Playing against him is an honor 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 tomorrow and reach the semi-finals.

Mbappe Says Ronaldo Is One Of A Kind, Wants To Forge His New Path At Real Madrid

Just before the EUROs, Mbappe announced he had fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a Real Madrid player. Many are seeing it as a passing of the baton, expecting Mbappe to follow in the footsteps of Ronaldo. The former Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) acknowledged Ronaldo’s heroics but vouched to forge his own path.

On comparisons with Ronaldo, Mbappe added:

What he did in Madrid is unique, and I hope to do something unique in Madrid too. It will be completely different, but I can only have praise for a player of his caliber.

There’s only one. There will only be one. I just followed my path. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to start living my dream as a player in Madrid. I hope I’ll write a great story there, but I’m certainly not going there to write the rest of Cristiano’s story.

Ronaldo was at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium for nine years between 2009 and 2018. He played 438 games for the club in all competitions, scoring 450 goals and guiding them to four UEFA Champions League trophies and two La Liga titles, amongst other honors.

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