Sole survivor of Ligue 1 among the 30 nominated for the Ballon d’Or 2022, Kylian Mbappé has never reached the podium of the prestigious individual distinction, despite four consecutive nominations (7th in 2017, 4th in 2018, 6th in 2019 and 9th in 2021). While his Paris-Saint-Germain teammate and reigning winner, Lionel Messi, was not selected, the French striker gave an interview to France Football, in which he confides in his relationship with the Ballon d’ Gold. If Kylian Mbappé obviously evokes his dream of one day winning this trophy, he does not forget to dub his compatriot from Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, who should normally win the 2022 edition of the Ballon d’Or. His first memory of the Ballon d’Or “Like everyone of my generation, the Ballon d’Or is bound to be associated with the battle between Leo (Messi) and Cristiano (Ronaldo). Digging really deep into my memory, I remember a little bit of Ronaldinho too (winner in 2005). But, frankly, everything is crushed by the two gluttons who shared the prize for so long. Every year, like everyone else, I wondered which of the two would go When you think about it, this mano a mano was pretty crazy. On ceremonial days, it was fun to watch them when they were next to each other. And try to guess, to their face, which of the two seemed more angry or angry because he knew he hadn’t won.”How to become “balloonable”?”You have to be a total, complete player. Who does not only stand out for his stats. You’re not necessarily the best player in the world because you score 60 goals in a season. That helps, my is not enough. In addition, in my opinion, you have to prove that you are able to do a lot of things, in a lot of different situations. There are a lot of great players, very strong in one area. But the “balloonable”, for me, must be more than a great player. It must have a wide enough palette. He must be decisive, even when his team is less well. Especially when she’s less well. There are few enough to be able to rock a match almost alone. This is also why they are paid dearly. (He smiles.) The top player must also give impetus to a whole collective, make the crowds rise up. In fact, a Ballon d’Or must be the prototype of the perfect player. The one that a maximum of kids want to identify with because he is strong everywhere. Or almost. For a year, he will represent footballers around the world. This reference must therefore be irreproachable, with no weak points.”His first nomination in 2017″Frankly, I was super proud. Barely of age, I was already associated with these “big names”. It may seem trivial, but for me, it was a serious thing. A real step. A bit like a message sent to the middle of football: “Well, now I’m here. I’m one of the best.” I received my certificate of great player. It was official. You fall into a first category: those who have one day been part of the thirty best players in the world. It’s starting to get serious. You belong to an elite, to a caste. There are those who are part of it and the others. And I was one of them, at 18.”His absence from the podium”I consider that my period of 18-21 years allowed me to stabilize in the Top 10. I was not a sufficiently “impactful” player “. For two years, however, I think that I have taken a step forward, I have a more assertive status on the pitch, I am doing better in cleaver matches. In short, I am a more credible, more serious candidate. Before, I was a curiosity, and my place in the Top 10 was a reward. Now I definitely want more. It’s a long process. I believe that now I am one of the four-five names that come up regularly. Players missing from the Ballon d’Or list Xavi and Iniesta, it’s as if they won it when Leo took them all. I remember their three-man podium (in 2010) and we had the feeling that the Ballon d’Or belonged a bit to the three, they were so inseparable in the success of Barça. In fact, Arsenal’s Thierry Henry would have deserved he was so strong. He didn’t go far in 2003 (2nd, behind Nedved). He was so different from the others… “Ever talked about the Ballon d’Or with Messi?” Yes, the morning of the last ceremony. He was super nervous as he went to collect his seventh trophy a few hours later. One would think he was used to it and that he was quiet before such an evening. But not him. Maybe he was thinking about what he was going to say, how he was going to lift his trophy. I said to him: “But it is not possible! Me, after six victories, I come with a cigar to the evening.” It proves that he has kept this child’s soul and that the approach of such a discount still excites him. He is not jaded. “A bonus Ballon d’Or negotiated in his contract at PSG?” Of course, as with all the players the club thinks he has a chance to get one. We add a carrot. But, frankly, if one day I won the Ballon d’Or, my bonus, that would be the last thing on my mind.”His top 3 for 2022″(Long thought.) I would say Benzema, me and Mané.”Karim Benzema winner for 2022? Of course. He is 34 years old, has just had the season of his life, wins a new Champions League by often being decisive… In place of Karim, if I don’t win there, I stop thinking about the Ballon d’Or forever. ‘Gold. (He laughs.)”
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