There is no covering up the truth that some of the biggest names littering the rich houses of football history, were at some point found on the playing rosters of traditionally elite teams in European club football.
Multiple European Championship Cup/Champions League winners like Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Ajax Amsterdam, etc have all been the clubs of some of the greatest players in football annals.
With the notable exception of Pelé the great, and perhaps Maradona who joined Barcelona not long before the club began to be a credible European powerhouse, nearly every big name that bubbles up in the thought of every football fan reading this piece, played in one or two of the clubs that constitute the genuinely elect circle of European football. Some though, were the foundations of the greatness of some of these teams.
When the constantly revolving rumour mill that usually precedes the terminus of the contract of every good footballer slowly turned to a halt, nearly all football fans learned with some degree of surprise that Kylian Mbappé was not heading to Madrid to join the pack of winners but staying in Paris to help make a pack of winners.
After his bumper PSG deal signifying he remains in the club till age 26, Kylian Mbappe with his cohorts now has some 3 years to snap a jinx that no generation of the Parisian club has managed to, that is win the Champions League. Already a World Cup winner almost before his majority, voted FIFA young player of that World Cup and winning the French player of the year for the 3rd time in his career, and also a multiple French Ligue 1 champions with Monaco and PSG. Along with Ligue 1’s Golden Boot award for the fourth time in as many seasons. This young man in addition attracts the regard of having won the league 1 in every club he has ever played, although only in his home country, France.
The Qatar World Cup is approaching and though favourites aren’t always winners, few will deny France a place among the countries likely to go home with the diadem. Like most great players before and during his time, Kylian is blessed with superstar contemporary compatriots, a phenomenon that pushes his chance of winning another world cup higher than most of his contemporary rivals. And puts him in a pole position of becoming one of the first players of his generation and in modern history to win two World Cups. Given the talents and quality of up and coming and current French players along with the age of Kylian Mbappé, this is sure to happen sooner or later. An event that would have him notch his scale of eminence higher and above Maradona’s, Platini’s, Zidane’s, Cristiano Ronaldo’s, Romario’s, Lionel Messi’s etc in that regard.
Kylian Mbappé’s decision to choose staying at still European football try-hard PSG over the more illustrious and successful Real Madrid, has prompted talks of whether the young man can really make a chair at the table of some of the greats in the game. What most don’t realize is that in choosing PSG over Real Madrid, Kylian has decided to make a pack of winners rather than join a pack of winners. The former, which when realized should befit greatness better than the latter. Between now and the expiry of his new contract; if he wins the Champions League with his home country club, PSG, he will not only be a Champions League winner, but the first in the club’s history. And given that they have had to wait a long time for that feat, joining it to his personal achievements in the game so far should take him to quite a special place of eminence.
The tradition has never been there in Paris, as it has always been in Madrid and other great European teams. Money has gained PSG a place among the biggest clubs in Europe, and it’s up to Kylian Mbappé and his starry pack to lay the foundation for the club’s bona fide greatness with a Champions League crown. From age 26, by which age he would have reached his peak, many will expect Kylian to churn out more universal and personal achievements. Whether he decides to stay in Paris or make a move to any of the big clubs, few would doubt him furthering his list of achievements. Whatever he is massing up in football in France now, shall by no means be lost on what is required to accept him into greatness. Kylian Mbappé may not win that many Champions leagues as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric etc. Nevertheless by the time he hangs up his boots very few would doubt that he did that in greatness.
Source: Nana Kweku Bosomtwi