Eric Abidal has expressed his hope that Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe can one day win the Ballon d’Or award.
Regarded as one of the most promising youngsters in world football following his exploits at parent club AS Monaco last season, the teenager is on the shortlist for the 2017 award – although he’s likely to miss out to either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.
A possible candidate to break up the aforementioned pair’s duopoly over the award in the future, Abidal has backed his compatriot to do just that now that he’s playing alongside the likes of Neymar and Edinson Cavani.
“Yes he can,” said Abidal when asked whether Mbappe could become one of football’s greatest players at the official draw for the FIFA Club World Cup on Monday.
“But I can say also he has to, because he has a lot of talent.
“He is only 18-years-old. PSG have hired one of the best players of his age so he deserves a good career. But he has to work. Talent is not enough, you have to work every day.
“And with Neymar and other good players around him he has to learn from them.
“I’m French and he’s French too so I hope in a few years he wins some titles with his club and maybe in a personal capacity too, like a Ballon d’Or.”