Kylian Mbappe: The entry of a new football hero


A lot has happened in a short space of time for Kylian Mbappe.

Aged 19, he is lighting up the World Cup for France, scoring twice in their 4-3 victory over Argentina in the last 16.

It is the latest step in a remarkable rise for a player who was celebrating passing his French high school exams just three summers ago.

In less than two years he has become a double Ligue 1 title winner and a regular for France and Paris St-Germain, for whom he is expected to sign permanently this summer for 180m euros.

Mbappe spent his formative years developing his skills at AS Bondy in the north-eastern suburbs of Paris. The club are experiencing a surge in popularity and are inundated with new members wanting to follow in the footsteps of Mbappe.

BBC Sport went to the club where Mbappe started his football journey when he was just a toddler and spoke to those who knew him.

‘Kylian was born into football’
AS Bondy’s senior team play in the 10th tier of French football, in the “Excellence” division of the League of Paris ile-de-France but they have a very successful youth system. Players who have passed through their age groups include Sevilla’s Sebastien Corchia and DR Congo international Fabrice N’Sakala.

Up until only three months ago, Mbappe’s father Wilfried was one of the sporting directors at the club looking after the age groups from under-10s up to under-17s but he has had various roles over 25 years at AS Bondy.

Atmane Airouche, president of AS Bondy: “You could say that Kylian was born here at this club. He was here as a baby when his father was a player and a coach. He was always here and learning about football, even as a toddler.

“When we played games, just before kick-off you’d see a two-year-old walk in with a ball and he’d sit with us to listen to the team talks. I think he’s the player here who must have heard the record number of pre-match team talks.”

Antonio Riccardi, 28, under-13s coach at AS Bondy: “His father is like my second father so I knew Kylian as a baby but the first time I coached him was when he was six years old. Just a few months after he had started playing here for the debutants age group you could tell he was different.

“Kylian could do much more than the other children. His dribbling was already fantastic and he was much faster than the others.”

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