Football legend Pele stands up for under-fire Kylian Mbappe

The higher you go, the harder you fall. Kylian Mbappe has endured a pretty perfect career so far, becoming one of the greatest of the modern game. At such a young age, he has starred in a FIFA World Cup Final, scoring and becoming the first teenager since the great Pele himself to do so. However, he has also endured a stellar club career, exploding onto the scene with AS Monaco and then joining Paris Saint-Germain. With a year left on his PSG deal and an impasse on his contract, as well as middling form in the UEFA Champions League, the 2021 season has been one of the few times in his career Mbappe has been questioned.

A poor UEFA Euro 2020 championship where Mbappe took more shots without scoring than anyone else added to the pressure. With returning veteran Karim Benzema scoring regularly at the tournament, Mbappe started to look somewhat out of place in the team. A poor performance in the 3-3 draw with Switzerland, including a bizarre miss in extra time, was culminated by a shocking penalty miss. He looked unconfident en route to taking the shot and duly missed, sending his nation home in shock. Having been 3-1 up, Les Bleus took their foot off the gas and were put out.

With criticism reigning down on Mbappe, though, there has been a quick movement by teammates and his manager, Didier Deschamps, to defend the prodigious young talent. However, one name has rode to his defence that might hold even more sway than anyone else: Pele.

The master of the big game and a legend for Brazil, the football superstar has spoken out and defended Mbappe in no uncertain terms from the torrent of abuse coming his way.

What did Pele say about Kylian Mbappe?

The message was, as ever, pretty short and sweet. Pele is no one who spends much time on social media nor in broadcast media doing long interviews. His commentary is often to the point. So, when he sent out a tweet in support of Mbappe, it was swift but quickly resonant with the reading audience. From his personal account @Pele, the Brazilian legend tweeted: “Keep your head up, Kylian! Tomorrow is the first day of a new journey @KMbappe.”

It’s a simple statement, but it really does say all that has to be said. Pele has long come to the defence of other stars, having faced the abuse and criticism himself during a stellar career. Few in the world know what it means to be literally the best player on the planet, but Pele does.

With Mbappe keen to elevate himself to that status one day, Pele was quick to defend a young man who has come under needlessly increasing scrutiny in recent times. Indeed, the player himself was quick to apologise to teammates and his nation for missing the penalty, and vowed to come back better than ever in the past.

That mentality, one could say, is Pele-esque. And that can only serve the young star well in the future.

09.07.2021 < Back