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Kylian Mbappe’s classy message to Lionel Messi during Ballon d’Or ceremony

Kylian Mbappe presented one of the awards during a star-studded Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris on Monday night, and he had kind words for his teammate, Lionel Messi

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Pochettino savours Messi’s first goal for PSG

Kylian Mbappe admitted he has a long way to go before he can be compared to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as he spoke during the Ballon d’Or ceremony.

But the Paris Saint-Germain forward, 22, declared he is “lucky” to line up alongside Messi – the winner of the 2021 accolade – who is helping him hone his trade as one as one of Europe’s most-fearsome goalscorers.

Mbappe has scored 120 times in 145 appearances for PSG since joining the club in 2017 and this phenomenal record has given seen him likened to Messi, who joined him in the French capital this summer, and Ronaldo.

The duo are regarded as the greatest players of their generation and between them they have won 12 of the last 13 Ballons d’Or after Messi won his seventh gong on Monday night.

Mbappe finished ninth in the voting for the 2021 award during the star-studded ceremony at Paris’ Theatre du Chatalet.

Will Kylian Mbappe fulfil his potential by winning the Ballon d’Or one day? Have your say in the comments!

Kylian Mbappe declared he is “lucky” to play alongside Lionel Messi for PSG

The France international, a 2018 World Cup winner, was flattered by comparisons to Messi and Ronaldo but insisted he is “not like” the two “legends”.

“It’s a pleasure but I’m not like Messi and Ronaldo. They’ve won a lot of times, they’re legends,” Mbappe said before presenting Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas with the Ballon d’Or Feminin trophy.

“I’m lucky to play with Leo and learn from him on a daily basis. Just having my name next to theirs is a pride.”

While Messi won his seventh Ballon d’Or, Manchester United striker Ronaldo finished sixth in the voting.

The event was not without its controversy, as Ronaldo was forced to deny making comments about wanting to better Messi’s total of Ballons d’Or just hours before the Argentine was presented with the golden ball trophy.

The editor-in-chief of France Football, the magazine which organises and presents the award, claimed the Portugal captain had told him of his desire to beat his rival’s tally.

Pascal Ferre told the New York Times : “Ronaldo has only one ambition, and that is to retire with more Ballons d’Or than Messi, and I know that because he has told me.”

Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or for a record seventh time in Paris on Monday
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Image:

REUTERS)

Ronaldo hit back in no uncertain terms with a lengthy statement on Instagram in which he accused Ferre of “lies” and branded his behaviour “unacceptable”.

“Pascal Ferre lied, he used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication he works for,” Ronaldo wrote.

“It is unacceptable that the person responsible for awarding such a prestigious prize could lie in this way, in absolute disrespect for someone who has always respected France Football and the Ballon d’Or.”

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