Paris Saint-Germain’s new forward, Kylian Mbappe, has revealed that he was inspired to become a professional footballer, after a short stint at Chelsea as an 11-year-old.
Mbappe recalls playing alongside Tammy Abraham and Jeremie Boga, currently both on loan at Swansea and Birmingham respectively, for the Blues’ U-12 team.
“It was a wonderful experience,” he told The Telegraph.
“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.
“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.”
Mbappe recalls winning the game against Charlton, before getting to meet Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda, who were still at Stamford Bridge at the time.
He added: “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.”