Paris Saint Germain new signing Kylian Mbappe says playing alongside Chelsea forward, currently on loan at Swansea City, gave him the hunger to become a top footballer.
In a press conference at the Parc Des Princes, the French wonderkid said it was great to see what a big club was like, after visiting Chelsea at the age of 11, since the London club invited him to train for a week.
“Yes, of course I remember, it was a wonderful experience. Chelsea was the first great club, the first big club, that I went to visit. So it was a real discovery for me. I was coming from my grassroots, amateur club.”
“It was a whole new world. Of course I had an idea what a great football club was like but I was really impressed by the working culture and the mentality of wanting to be better day-in, day-out. ”
It allowed Mbappe to have a different mindset and to look at things in another way, and it helped him progress as a player, and it’s shown after making a huge money move to the capital of France, albeit on loan for one year before making the switch permanent.
“And visiting this infrastructure helped me, actually, with my development. I saw things differently because up until then I had just a French mentality and after that I could pick what was positive in other mentalities and build my own.”
The teenager reminisced on his time at Chelsea, and looked back on the one game he played for the club, playing with Jeremie Boga and Abraham, and meeting a few of the senior players who spoke French.
“We played against Charlton, I think, and we won maybe seven or eight nil. I also got to meet some of the first-team players, Drogba, Malouda, the French-speaking ones and took some pictures with them.”
Since he had that week in England, his mindset has never changed. He wanted to play at the top, and aspire to be one of the best in the worl.
“An idea has been reinforced since I was a kid, not just because I went to Chelsea. I always thought: ‘I want to be there, I want to be one of those big players who is trying to give people fun out of the game.’
“And I have given everything to reach that objective. Now I am on the other side of the camera, on the other side of the TV. That’s the only difference.”