Five years on from his UEFA Champions League debut, UEFA.com celebrates how far the Paris star has come.
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Five years ago today, aged 17 years and 282 days, Kylian Mbappé made his UEFA Champions League debut with Monaco as a 77th-minute substitute in a 1-1 draw against Leverkusen.
We measure his UEFA competition footprint.Is Mbappé in your Fantasy Football team?
International: 49 appearances, 17 goals
UEFA club competition: 47 appearances, 27 goals
Before he was famous
Mbappé was 11 days shy of his 16th birthday when he played his first game in UEFA competition, coming on for the final 30 minutes of a 3-1 home loss to Zenit in the UEFA Youth League.
A year and a day later, he made his debut in a senior UEFA club competition, disputing the last 34 minutes of a 4-1 UEFA Europa League group stage loss at Tottenham. His side were already 3-0 down when he came off the bench, but he did provide the assist for their goal.
UEFA.com first wrote about him in February 2016, when he was our 'Weekly Wonderkid', quoting his father and manager Wilfried as saying: "He's more than passionate [about football] – he's crazy. I work in football and he almost puts me off it because he's always into it 24/7. He watches everything; he can watch four or five matches in a row."
He showed the benefit of all that study when he scored five goals in France's successful 2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship campaign in Germany. Team-mate Jean-Kévin Augustin outscored him with six, but both players were picked out as ones to watch by UEFA.com's editorial team on site.
His UEFA club competition footprint
Mbappé did not score in his first three UEFA Champions League games (hardly surprising as he had just 25 minutes of playing time in total), making his breakthrough at the fourth time of asking 40 minutes into a 5-3 UEFA Champions League round of 16 defeat at Manchester City.
He has scored two UEFA Champions League hat-tricks, both of them away from home; in a 5-0 win at Club Brugge in October 2019 and in a 4-1 success at Barcelona in the 2020/21 round of 16. He scored a penalty in the return leg of that tie to eclipse Lionel Messi as the youngest player to hit 25 goals in the UEFA Champions League, aged 22 years and 80 days.
In addition to winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup with France, Mbappé has won four Ligue 1 titles (one with Monaco, three with Paris) and three French Cups (all with Paris), and also helped the capital side reach their first UEFA Champions League final in 2020, Paris losing 1-0 to Bayern in Lisbon.
Mbappé scored six goals in ten senior UEFA games for Monaco (at a rate of one every 95 minutes), and has hit 21 more in 37 games for Paris (at a rate of one every 141 minutes and three seconds). Overall, he has scored a goal every 130 minutes and 49 seconds.
His favourite opponents in Europe so far have been Barcelona; he has scored four goals against them at a rate of one every 45 minutes.
Mbappé has failed to score against only six of the 20 teams he has come up against in UEFA competition: Atalanta, CSKA Moskva, Leipzig, Leverkusen, Napoli and Tottenham.
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When he is at his most dangerous
If Mbappé has a magic number, it might be three; he has scored in the third minute of UEFA Champions League games on three occasions: against Anderlecht, Bayern and Dortmund.
His goalscoring rate picks up markedly after the hour mark: 16 of his 27 UEFA Champions League goals have been scored in the 60th minute or later. He is yet to find the net between the 21st and 30th minute.
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Face to face with greatness
Mbappé has spoken to UEFA.com on several occasions, and famously allowed us to sit in on a conversation between him and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet in the run-up to UEFA EURO 2020. Here's what he had to say about his career so far when we spoke to him in spring 2021:
On his motivation: "Every time I step onto the pitch, I tell myself I'm the best, and yet I've played on the same pitch as [Lionel] Messi and Cristiano [Ronaldo], and they're better players than me! They've done a billion more things than me, but in my head I always tell myself that I'm the best because then you're not putting limits on yourself and you're trying to give the best version of yourself."
On winning the World Cup in 2018: "Normally, winning a World Cup is the pinnacle of your career. It's something you work for at your club: you spend a few years there and you get to 27, 28, and the World Cup comes around when you're at your peak. I was lucky enough to get stuck into it straight away and win it at 19, and I think that's going to help me for when there'll be other tests."
On his happy place: "For me, the Champions League holds a very important place. We've lost at different stages, we've suffered. I think that if I win it, there'll be a lot of emotion. Even though the World Cup is the Holy Grail, for me, at club level, the Champions League is the best. The Champions League is, as the song says, for 'les meilleures équipes' (the best teams)."
On his ambitions: "I've never said I was going to be the greatest player in history, but I've never put limits on myself. If I get to a certain level, I'm not going to stop myself by putting a barrier up, like: 'If I get there, then that's it, that's my maximum.' No, I try to push my boundaries and see where that takes me. For the moment, it's working well for me, and I'll keep doing that until the end of my career."Get the Champions League app!