Like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi before them, Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland look set to be the other’s measuring stick for the rest of their careers.
Separated by just 18 months, the two forwards are recognised as the pair most likely to take the mantle from the Argentine and Portuguese legends.
When one is linked with a mega transfer, the other quite often follows shortly after.
Real Madrid have been credited with an interest in both players as Florentino Perez looks to build a new team of Galacticos.
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But Mbappe has hinted that the Borussia Dortmund forward still has a bit to prove before he can truly rank alongside him.
Haaland has completed just one full season in a top-five league, scoring a stunning 27 goals in 28 Bundesliga matches in 2020/21.
However, his Paris Saint-Germain rival has suggested he needs to show a bit more longevity before being touted as the game’s next superstar.
“It is his second year, we are getting to know him. It is the beginning for him. I’m happy for him, for what he’s doing,” Mbappe said.
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The 22-year-old isn’t short of confidence, describing himself as “a modern attacker who can play anywhere”.
“I have played up front, I have played on the left and on the right,” he continued. “In all humility, I don’t think everyone is capable of changing positions like this every year and maintaining a great performance at the highest level.
“That did not fall from the sky. If I talk about the baggage that they gave me in adolescence, it’s all there.
“I have managed to work on my weak points, but above all to perfect my strengths, because they have always told me that it is through your strengths that you are going to win.”
But if his self-confidence has him above Haaland, it doesn’t stretch to him believing he is on a par with Ronaldo and his new teammate, Messi.
Asked how he compares to those two, Mbappe said: “Everybody knows. If you tell yourself that you will do better than them, it goes beyond ego or determination: it is lack of awareness.
“Those players are incomparable. They have broken all the laws of statistics. They have had ten, fifteen extraordinary years.”
He continued: “You always compare yourself to the best in your sport, just as the baker compares himself to the best bakers around him.
“Who makes the best croissant, the best pain au chocolat? I watch the games of other great players to see what they do.
“I know how to do this, but can the other do it too? I think other players are watching me too. I think that pushes footballers to elevate their game.”
Photo Credit: Getty