Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann believes France teammate Kylian Mbappe is playing like Cristiano Ronaldo when he was with Manchester United.
Mbappe, 19, was named the Golden Boy as France won the World Cup in July and has scored 10 goals in seven appearances for Paris Saint-Germain in all competitions this season, including four in the 5-0 victory against Lyon on Sunday.
“Kylian reminds me of Cristiano when he was in Manchester,” Griezmann told France Football. “Cristiano was the guy out wide, doing a lot of dribbling and occasionally scoring. He was not looking for goals, though.
“When Kylian does what Cristiano did in Madrid, thinking only about scoring, then he will do the same. He will be scoring 50 goals per season.”
Mbappe scored four times in 13 minutes on Sunday but also missed a number of chances, which does not surprise Griezmann.
“In front of goal in training, Kylian is not all that,” Griezmann said. “I tease him often — I ask him how he manages to score so many goals. When we do finishing drills, he never wins. As soon as he changes that, though, he will be a force to be reckoned with.”
Griezmann also said he contacted Mbappe after he scored in the 3-2 defeat away at Liverpool in the opening Champions League game to offer his advice.
“Kylian has to want to go and score — the goal that he scored against Liverpool came from the middle,” Griezmann said. “I messaged him afterwards and said: ‘You need to call for the ball closer to the goal. If we do not give you the ball, you need to lose the guy. You must get on the ball in the middle.'”
But Griezmann is convinced that whatever happens, a World Cup winner must take the honour after France’s success in Russia.
“We are world champions and part of the best team in the world,” Griezmann said. “The best team in the world surely possesses the best player, right?
“In any case, that is how I see it. Apart from that, it is a question of votes, opinions and different judgements. However, I believe that a Frenchman must win the Ballon d’Or.”
Griezmann also said that he is excited to be in the discussion to win the award.
“For me, it is a dream,” he said. “Historically speaking, it is for the best of the best. There are only star performers — the winners are examples. It would be a dream to be considered an example to others.”