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K. Mbappé

Mbappe compared to Brazil legend Ronaldo as ex-Spurs boss Pochettino highlights what makes France star different to Kane

09:26 WAT 08/12/2022
Harry Kane England Kylian Mbappe France
Former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has highlighted what sets Kylian Mbappe apart from Harry Kane.
  • Pochettino has coached both
  • Highlights their differences
  • Compares Mbappe to Ronaldo

WHAT HAPPENED? Mbappe and Kane are two of Europe's most prolific strikers and are set to come face-to-face at the World Cup on Saturday. Pochettino, the only man so far to manage both players, has highlighted the differences between the two attackers.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Unlike Harry, Kylian is a player who does not need to be connected with the overall game. He can be there for five or even 10 minutes, not involved in the game, not involved with his team, and then just appear, do something amazing, and win you the match," he told The Athletic. "Harry is someone who does need to feel connected with the game. But Kylian is the opposite. If he doesn’t touch the ball, he’s relaxed. He’s so confident in himself, he knows that when the ball reaches him, he is still going to beat his opponent and do what he knows best.

Pochettino also compared Mbappe to legendary Brazilian striker Ronaldo Nazario. "I know that Kylian looks up to the original Ronaldo — Ronaldo Nazario da Lima, the one I played against over 20 years ago," he added. "And if you can find any player from the past with any similarity to Kylian, the Brazilian Ronaldo is one of them. It’s in that capacity to accelerate, the technique, to dribble past opponents and score."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The two players may differ in style but Pochettino also feels they would work well together. Kane is facing something of an uncertain future, with his contract at Tottenham in up in 2024, and his former manager thinks he'd be a great fit alongside Mbappe.

"Sometimes, big players love playing football but they don’t love the game itself. But these two genuinely love the game itself," he explained. "They love to talk about football, they love to talk about tactics, they have brains that really understand football. And this is why I think it would be so good to see them playing together. They would be completely compatible."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? France are unbeaten in the 13 games in which Kylian Mbappe has started in the World Cup and European Championships combined (W10 D3), winning all nine in which he has started at the World Cup. The Frenchman has been directly involved in 12 goals in these 13 starts, scoring nine and making three assists.

WHAT NEXT? Mbappe and Kane will meet at the World Cup on Saturday when France take on England in the quarter-finals in Qatar.