Sunday, November 20, 2022 at 5:41 PM• Paul Jeursen • Last update: 17:44

If Kylian Mbappé ever wants to win a Ballon d’Or, he must leave Paris Saint-Germain. Mauricio Pochettino said this in an interview with El País. The trainer took care of the French star player from January 2021 until his resignation in June 2022 and strongly advises him not to renew his contract in the French capital.

Pochettino believes Mbappé must step “out of his comfort zone” if he ever wants to win a Ballon d’Or. The attacker signed a mega contract worth 630 million euros last October that will keep him in Paris until the summer of 2025. If it is up to his ex-trainer, Mbappé will not serve this contract. “He may be a leader because he is considered the best striker in the world, but the Ballon d’Or was won by Karim Benzema, another Frenchman. Mbappé can still develop further, but he has to leave his comfort zone.”

Mbappé now has quite a list of prizes to his name. At the age of 23, he has already become champion of France five times; he also won the Coupe de France four times, and both the Coupe de la Ligue and the Trophée des Champions twice. He also reached the Champions League final in 2020, which Paris Saint-Germain lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich. He has already played 59 international matches for his country in which he scored 28 goals, became world champion in 2018 and won the Nations League.

The most important individual prize, the Ballon d’Or, is still missing from his list of achievements. In recent elections he never finished higher than fourth place, Pochettino also knows. “Mbappé is a beast, someone with a lot of charisma, but he has yet to discover himself. Lionel Messi and Neymar are more complete players with more responsibility, albeit in different ways.” Mbappé’s coach in Paris, Christophe Galtier, also knows that it will be difficult to keep him in Paris, despite his generous salary. “Of course he loves Paris Saint -Germain, but he also had a crush on Real Madrid.”