8 things to know about Kylian Mbappe, the first Black highest-paid football player in the world

Henry Debrah January 06, 2023
Photo credit: AP Photo/Martin Meissner

At the just-ended FIFA World Cup tournament, Kylian Mbappe came on top as the star of the tournament with his impressive performance and records, and even though his side did not win the international football’s most coveted trophy, he won for himself accolades and respect most players have taken years to earn. At the tournament, the 23-year-old PSG and French striker edged his fellow PSG teammate and one of the tournament’s favorites Lionel Messi, to win the Golden Boot award, having scored eight (8) goals. He also took home the silver ball award. 

But how well do you know the superstar of the moment? Here are eight interesting things to know about him:

  1. Comes from a family of athletes

Kylian Mbappé was born Kylian Mbappé Lottin on December 20th, 1998 in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, France. His father Wilfred Mbappe is a Cameroonian while his mother Fayza Lamari, is an Algerian of Kabyle origin. Mbappe grew up in a family of sportsmen and women. His father is a football coach and manages him as well. His mother on the other hand is a former handball player. His brother, Ethan, is a professional footballer who played for PSG’s under-12 squad in 2018, and his adoptive brother, Jirès Kembo Ekoko, is also a professional footballer. His sister, Diane Mbappe, is a tennis champion.

2. His skills were nurtured by his mother

Kylian’s skills were nurtured by his mother from an early age, in the absence of his father. Despite her financial struggles and inability to pay the bills, she was determined to help Kylian realize his dream of playing football, and she frequently updated his father on his progress. Kylian’s father, a coach with experience as a local club football player, also influenced Kylian’s interest in football.

3. Comes from a multi-religious family

Mbappé’s family is multi-religious with his father being a Christian and his mother a muslim, however, in 2018, he declared on a French talk show “Au tableau!” that he is a Christian. This notwithstanding, he observes some Islamic celebrations such as the commemoration of Muhammad’s first revelation and Ramadan.

4. Donated 100 percent of his world cup earnings to charity

Kylian is a patron of the ‘Premiers de Cordée’ children’s charity to which he donated his entire World Cup earnings of almost half a million United States dollars from Russia 2018. He has also made significant donations to persons in need of housing.

5. He’s been playing professionally since 11.

Mbappé was invited to train with Real Madrid’s under-12s and tour the club’s facilities when he was 11 years old. He traveled to London at the age of 14 to play for Chelsea’s youth team against Charlton Athletic. He ultimately chose Monaco. Mbappe joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) from Monaco in 2017, initially on loan and then permanently for €180 million the same year. Mbappé began his career at AS Bondy, where he was coached by his father, Wilfried. He later joined INF Clairefontaine where his performance put him on the radar of top clubs in Europe.

6. He’s one of the fastest players ever

Mbappe is renowned for his dribbling abilities, finishing, and exceptional speed. He is one of the fastest players to ever play the game and considered to be as fast as Jamaican world 100 meters record holder, Usain Bolt. In a 2019 game against Monaco, Mbappe recorded a speed of 38kph which was faster than Usain Bolt’s 37.58kph in his 2009 100m world record.

7. He was the highest paid footballer in the world

Kylina Mpabbe was the highest paid footballer in the world, the first black player to claim the coveted title, until he was recently eclipsed by Cristiano Ronaldo.

8. Has won numerous awards and accolades

Mbappé was named to the UEFA Team of the Year in 2018 as well as the FIFA FIFPro World11 in 2018 and 2019. He was also named to the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season in 2016-17, 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22. He received Globe Soccer’s Best Player of the Year award in 2021. He was Ligue 1’s top scorer for four seasons and received the Golden Boy award in 2017. He was also three times named Ligue 1 Player of the Year. According to reports, Mbappé is the second highest-paid football player in the world, with a net worth of $150 million USD. Nike has signed Mbappe to a 10-year, $187 million contract. 

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