Perhaps the biggest young talents in world football at the moment, the two youngsters helped their respective teams secure important first leg away victories at the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League, giving them a foot into the Quarterfinals.
A much-talked fixture between Barcelona and PSG didn’t fail to disappoint. It was young Kylian Mbappe that stole the headlines with a fine performance capped with a hat-trick at the Camp Nou. The absence of Neymar was not felt by the Paris based team as they produced a fine performance with Mpappe leading the attack as they beat Barcelona to pulp. His electrifying pace and clinical finishing were too much for the Catalan team to keep at bay.
The emergence of Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe capped a fine season with Monaco winning the Golden Boy Award in 2017. Since coming into the limelight after his breakthrough season at Monaco where he won the French Ligue 1 by bagging 16 goals in 41 appearances, Mbappe has consistently been working hard and has been on top of his game. This has placed him among the best strikers in Europe.
At PSG, he has enjoyed a fine spell, with 3 league titles. Forming a deadly striking partnership with Neymar, they have dominated the French top flight league and were finalist at last season’s UEFA Champions League, losing narrowly to Bayern Munich.
His fine form also extends to the international level. He has been helping France secure the World Cup title in 2018, while getting the Best Young Player of the tournament and securing a spot at the Best XI of the World Cup campaign.
At just 22, Mbappe is no doubt one of the biggest names in European football. With a number of individual and team titles, the youngster is gradually establishing himself to compete with the greatest ever of the game.
The emergence of Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland, the young Norwegian, has also been a fairytale success story in football. The current Golden Boy scored a brace to help Dortmund secure an important away win against Sevilla. Adding to his massive goal scoring form, he is now the highest goal scorer of this season’s UCL campaign with 8 goals.
Since his move to Dortmund in 2019, the prolific goalscoring machine has raked in an impressive 41 goals in just 42 appearances. During the 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League, he became the first teenager to score in five consecutive games. He finished the season with 10 goals, becoming only the second teenager to score 10 Champions League goals and capped the season with the Golden Boy Award.
At 20, Haaland has won a number of individual awards and broken many goal scoring records – leaving many in admiration of his wits. His pace and finishing abilities have constantly troubled opposition team – making him very difficult to contain in a game.
A look at two Golden Boy winners, clinical strikers discussed above, the football world is ready for the next phase of rivalry. It will be as hot as the one that exists between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.