Messi 'not normal' but Fabregas backs Mbappe to become world's best

Monaco midfielder Cesc Fabregas believes Lionel Messi's successor as the best player in the world will be PSG and France star Kylian Mbappe.

France's Kylian Mbappe and Argentina captain Lionel Messi.   -  Getty Images

Kylian Mbappe will succeed Lionel Messi and become the best player in the world, according to Cesc Fabregas.

Mbappe hit 33 Ligue 1 goals last term, topping the scoring charts as he fired Paris Saint-Germain to a sixth title in seven seasons.

The 20-year-old struck four times for France in its 2018 World Cup triumph in Russia, finishing fourth in that year's Ballon d'Or voting.

Barcelona captain Messi came fifth, missing out on the chance to win the individual award for a record sixth time, after Argentina lost to France in the last 16.

Asked if there could be a player like his former Barca team-mate Messi in the future, Fabregas told AS: "I think that's probably impossible.

"We've seen the likes of Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, amazing players, but Messi has been the best for 15 years. He's in his 17th season and he's been the best since he was 18 years old.

"I've seen things you wouldn't believe. Every three days he scores goals, he heads off to play for Argentina, he comes back jet-lagged and scores a hat-trick... that's not normal, believe me."

 

Monaco midfielder Fabregas has been able to watch Mbappe at close quarters since joining the Ligue 1 side from Chelsea in January.

"He's a phenomenon. He's clearly going to be the best player in the world in the future," Fabregas said of the striker. 

"I always think like a midfielder and if I had him in front of me I'd be giving him assists all the time because he's so fast, explosive, but he's also very clever in slipping his markers.

"He has his timing down perfectly. [Thierry] Henry and Diego Costa were also brilliant at that. The thing that stands out about Mbappe is that he's so hungry, he knows how to exploit his ability."

 

Mbappe's goals helped PSG cope with the injury-enforced absence of Neymar at the end of 2018-19, and the Brazilian has stayed in the French capital despite strong speculation he could return to Barca two years after leaving Camp Nou.

Neymar has not featured this term amid the ongoing rumours about his future and Fabregas suggested Thomas Tuchel is not the right coach for him.

"I played with him. The best players never lose their touch," Fabregas said.

"Sometimes due to things in your head or because you have a coach who doesn't know how to get the best out of you, you play below your ability.

"But if you're a great player, you always will be. And he's a great player."

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