Monaco forward Kylian Mbappé talks to UEFA.com about realising a dream, watching "all the Champions League games", playing alongside Radamel Falcao and facing Gianluigi Buffon.
Article top media content
You've had your first taste of UEFA Champions League football this season – it's been amazing, hasn't it?
Yes, indeed. Monaco's run has been a little unusual in that we started in the third qualifying round against Fenerbahçe. Then our group was pretty difficult because all the teams, including us, were about the same level.
We managed to get out of the group and after that we played Manchester City, one of the best clubs in Europe. We played two top-quality matches against them, with lots of goals and entertainment. We managed to get to the next round by winning 3-1 in the home leg. Then there was Dortmund and now we've got Juventus in the semis.
For you personally, what have been the highlights of this adventure?
My personal highlight was the away leg of the Manchester City tie, because it was my first start – I heard the music as we walked out onto the pitch and it was really special. I took real pleasure from that experience.
Since I was a boy, I've always dreamt of playing in the Champions League. I would watch all the games; even now I still watch all the Champions League games. So playing in it was an immense pleasure for me.
In that situation, did it help having a vastly experienced player like Radamel Falcao alongside you?
Yes, of course. I think I'm the luckiest player in our squad because I'm at the start of my career and get to play alongside a top striker like Radamel. He's made his mark on the history of the game and scored a huge number of goals.
We get the impression you have a lot of freedom when you're playing. Does coach Leonardo Jardim's tactical plan help you with that?
We play a 4-4-2 with two attackers – and he plays Radamel, who is a striker, whereas I am more of a winger up front. I like to move around more on the pitch, and the coach gives me the freedom to do that. I am free to go right, left or in the centre. It's something I really like so I thank the coach for that.
This Monaco team really shares out the goals: there is you, Falcao, Thomas Lemar, Valère Germain ...
Yes, in this team there are plenty of quality players and we all make an effort for one another – that's why we have many different scorers. We really want to win something together and to do that, we cannot just rely on individuals, we must do it together. It's the best way when you want to win trophies. We are all competitors, and competitors want to win.
And now for the semi-final against Juventus, who might well be the favourites to win the competition.
Juventus are a great club. Everybody knows their history, the great players who played there, the great players who still play there. They're a great team, and they eliminated Barcelona who were also among the favourites. They showed they have what it takes to win the competition. But we also have qualities and we'll do everything we can to get to the final.
You will be facing Gianluigi Buffon – what does that mean to you?
Buffon? He is a goalkeeper who has made his mark on history, one of the best in the world. I'm glad I'll play against him. You work every day to play against players like him. When you do, you want to give your best to beat them.