Kylian Mbappe is keen to “forge his own path” away from comparisons with World Cup great Pele after winning his first international title on Sunday.
France star Mbappe netted in the Moscow final as his side defeated Croatia 4-2 for their second World Cup crown.
And in doing so, the Paris Saint-German forward became the second teenager to score in a final after 1958 starlet Pele , who retired with three winners’ medals.
But Mbappe does not want to take on the Brazil great and instead intends to focus on his own game after winning the tournament’s Best Young Player award.
“Pele has marked history and I’m just here trying to forge my own path,” the 19-year-old told reporters. “I’m just trying to play the way I always did.
“Scoring and beating records is always good, but I’ve always worked towards this goal. I must continue, I have the ambition to go further, wherever my potential takes me.
“Winning a World Cup this young opens you lots of doors.”
And Mbappe never doubted France’s chances in Russia, claiming their self-belief was key to victory.
MY LOVE pic.twitter.com/Ut72cZTLWU
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) July 15, 2018
“You always have to believe. In this type of competition, it’s not the most handsome that wins, but the one who believe the most,” he said.
“And our belief was as solid as iron. We had to show it even if it seemed arrogant at first.
“But we are all on different paths. Take Adil Rami for example, he worked all his life towards this goal, but me, I’m just starting. I have a whole history to write.”
Conversation predictably turned to a possible Ballon d’Or win, but Mbappe remained evasive.
“It’s for certain that the World Cup works in my favour, but I’m not thinking about that right now,” he said.