AS Monaco VP holds hope of more young stars

Kylian Mbappe is a “once-in-a-lifetime” talent whose value has almost doubled since he starred in the World Cup, but Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev said he believes the club’s “production line” of young talent should offer more stars to “surprise the football world” in the coming years, Tom Hamilton of ESPN reports.

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe scores team’s 150th this season in all competitions. Photo: Facebook AS Monaco

Mbappe arrived as a 17-year-old during Monaco’s run to the Champions League semifinals and the Ligue 1 title in 2017, before moving on to Paris Saint-Germain and the 2018 World Cup victory with France.

“He [Mbappe] is a phenomenon, he’s the future Ballon d’Or,” Vasilyev told ESPN. “I knew it before and before he left he was at my house and I had a copy of the Ballon d’Or and took a photo of it and sent it to him, saying soon it will be yours.

“Now there are very few people that will doubt that as sometime in the near future it will be his. It happened quickly, but we knew it all along. He would’ve made it at any club in the world but the fact he had an amazing season with Monaco, in 2016-17 with the title and semifinals of the Champions League and national team debut that helped him to be there and explode at the World Cup.

“We are proud that he’s a product of our academy, we are proud that we have contributed to a world champion. We are proud that 20 years ago, we had four academy players in the team that won the World Cup, imagine that, so we continued the tradition in this World Cup.”

When asked what price tag he would put on Mbappe now, Vasilyev replied: “I think his value is now €250-300 million.”

“The calibre of Mbappe is difficult as this happens once-in-a-lifetime of a club,” Vasilyev said. “We have some amazing talent and we will surprise the football world two or three years from now thanks to the continued backing of president Dmitry Rybolovlev. These boys need time to develop, to become men, to become professional players but I think we’ll have some good surprises.”