Paris Saint-Germain and France sensation Kylian Mbappe said he must be more decisive if he is to win the Ballon d’Or after scooping the first Kopa Trophy.
Mbappe’s astonishing rise continued in Paris, where the 19-year-old claimed Monday’s inaugural Kopa Trophy – a new award given to the world’s best male footballer aged under 21.
World Cup winner Mbappe scored 32 goals in 56 games in all competitions for club and country in 2018 as the star forward also finished in the top five for the Ballon d’Or – fourth behind winner Luka Modric but ahead of Lionel Messi.
Discussing his Ballon d’Or pursuit, Mbappe – who was the only player on the Kopa Trophy shortlist also among the nominees for the coveted individual honour – said: “I did everything I could, but not everything I could to win a Ballon d’Or.
“That’s where the difference lies. I did everything I could, but there were times when I wasn’t decisive.
“It shows me how much I still have to do to win this trophy or it would be too easy to get there and win it all at once. It proves that you have to work and remain humble.”
Mbappe added: “Be decisive from January to December because a Ballon d’Or is decided from January to December. That’s what I missed.
“I had some excuses but a Ballon d’Or has no excuses and I missed some things to get this trophy.”
PSG CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi heaped praise on Mbappe, who is the top goalscorer in Europe’s big five leagues this season with 12.
“I would like to warmly congratulate Kylian on winning the first ever Kopa Trophy,” Al-Khelaifi said. “This year Kylian has really hit new heights, both here at Paris Saint-Germain and with the French national team.
“His progress is one of the most impressive ever seen in football. Kylian has all the assets to win many trophies over the coming years, both individually and for his team.
“Through his work and strength of character, he is a success story not only for the youth and also has an extraordinary ability to inspire our supporters all around the world.
“His family will always be a great support for Kylian and his strong ambitions. We all proudly look forward to seeing Kylian in our colours for many years to come.”