Attack his flank and don't be afraid of a yellow card: England's guide to keeping Mbappe quiet
Kylian Mbappe’s peers view him as a once-in-a-generation talent. Bukayo Saka, the 21-year-old emerging superstar for England, chuckled when asked recently whether he could become the “next Mbappe” on the World Cup stage.
"Thank you for your compliment, but no, I think there's only one Kylian Mbappe,” Saka said of the France forward that he will meet in Saturday’s quarter-final.
It’s true. There is just one player who has scored nine World Cup goals before his 24th birthday: Mbappe. There is just one player who has scored 40 Champions League goals before his 24th birthday: Mbappe.
And when England play France with their World Cup hopes in the balance, they will be tracking one man more than any other: Mbappe.
"When he gets the ball, stops and moves, he’s the quickest thing I’ve ever seen,” marvelled Poland defender Matty Cash after Mbappe scored a brace to eliminate his nation in the last 16.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate would be naive to think he can completely eliminate Mbappe’s threat. Really, the only person who can stop the mercurial Paris Saint-Germain attacker is himself, and he appears to be too locked in at this tournament to produce any of petulant displays that occasionally plague him.
But England's manager can at least reflect on comments from current and former players who have observed Mbappe closely, as well as analyse England's strengths, to craft a blueprint for handling Les Bleus’ top player...