In this week’s edition of Why I Stan, the person behind the popular Twitter account The KM7 Timeline explains their love of the renowned footballer Kylian Mbappe.
When do you first remember seeing Mbappe play?
On February 21st, 2017. He was 18 years old. AS Monaco went to the home of the emerging and strong Manchester City side after a 3-1 victory over them in the first leg. Mbappe showed signs of threat in the game from the very beginning, he gave the hosts a serious warning shot, escaping the defense’s attention and firing a vicious strike at goal, which missed the underside of the crossbar by a fine margin. But just after five minutes, he was no longer in a mood to forgive, 2-1 AS Monaco, Kylian Mbappé gives the lead to the visitors with an audacious finish. Later on Man City scored couple of more goals, but it was AS Monaco who went through on away goals courtesy of their starboy Kylian Mbappé and Radamel Falcao.
What was it about Mbappe that drew you in as a fan?I will be honest here, I have been watching him for years, and you wouldn’t believe that I never rated him much until last year. Even after he won the World Cup at 18 years of age, scored in a final, and created history in Europe’s elite competition, the Champions League, I never believed he’s on par with other young talents who possess more attributes to their game than Kylian. And when I have an “agenda”, I never leave it easily. But slowly, I accepted the fact, that he is the true definition of the word “generational”, the word people use too easily these days. This word holds a lot of weight, which I only see Kylian representing right now in the football world. I couldn’t hold my so called “hate” and not appreciating him for long, if I did, it would have been a shame for me to be called a football fan. Because we are literally witnessing an all time great in front of our eyes, who has been producing magical and the unthinkable stuff for almost half a decade. Also, his idol is Cristiano Ronaldo, maybe that played a role too in my softening towards him and now becoming one of his, what you call die hard fans.
What is your favourite memory involving Mbappe?
My favourite memory involving Mbappe has to be his second goal at the FIFA World Cup 2022. At half time, Argentina lead France by two goals to nil, Mbappe, being one of the youngest in the squad, took charge. The second half starts, France get a penalty and they close the difference to one. It was in the 81st minute, just one minute after he scored the opening penalty, Adrian Rabiot lifts it to Mbappe, who heads it to Koulo Mouani and get its back to Mbappe, and Kylain, OH MY GOD, doesn’t take any touch, shoots it first time from the edge of the box to get it past Emi Martinez and makes it 2-2. No sane footballer in the world takes it first time, that too in a World Cup FINAL, when you have quiet a time to take 2-3 touches to set yourself up, but Kylian is KYLIAN. 2-2. It was literally a one man show, so yes this is my favourite Kylian moment.
You run a Twitter account dedicated to Mbappe. In what other ways do you support him?
I support Kylian by not missing any game where I can watch him play. Sadly, I can’t afford to leave my country at the moment to go and watch him live, but I always have his back the way I can with where I am. Spreading awareness to people about Kylian by running a Twitter account is the least I can do. I support him, back him every single time. I think that is what a sports fan does, there are no other ways to support a player you love. You just enjoy their game, you feel the emotion. That’s it.
The Ronald-Messi debate has raged on for over a decade now. Where do you see Mbappe’s place among the greats?
The Ronaldo and Messi era has been the greatest for me, in any sports history. And it will NEVER be repeated, ever. Well as for Mbappe, I don’t see a player of his calibre, that can go toe to toe against him. Talking about his place in the all time list, you can clearly see the stats, A World Cup at 18 years of age while scoring in the final. An all timer World Cup campaign at 23 years of age, while scoring a HATTRICK in the final and being the top scorer of the tournament. This is not normal at all for a 23-year-old. Till the World Cup concluded, I only saw Mbappe as the one with a proper club legacy and international, which you couldn’t say for Ronaldo and Messi. The World Cup is what every player dreams of, and Mbappe has that sealed at 18. The Champions League, he has scored against the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and other giants at their own backyard. Dropping classics in a CL tie against these kind of teams when you are in your early 20s is absurd.
Mbappe is only 24 years old. What direction would you like to see his career move in?
I would like Mbappe to move to the Premier League. He has proven himself on the biggest stages, time and time again, be it the World Cup or the Champions League, but what people argue is that Mbappe has played his whole life in a league which is nowhere near the level of the likes of Premier League and La Liga, so I would really love that he moves to a club in those leagues (personally Premier League), because I am sure, it will be no issue for him to perform at the same level he has been. So the people, who argue with the fact that he hasn’t proven himself out of France in club level, are proven wrong.