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Mbappe relishing another encounter with hero Ronaldo

Kylian Mbappe is eagerly anticipating another showdown with his childhood idol Cristiano Ronaldo as France prepares to face Portugal in the quarter-finals of the European Championship on Friday.

Reflecting on his admiration for Ronaldo, whom he first met at age 10 and even cheekily requested his boots after a Champions League match, Mbappe expressed deep respect for the 39-year-old’s impact on football.

“It’s a privilege to compete against him. Everyone knows how much I admire him as a player. We stay in touch; he asks about my life and gives me advice. It’s a privilege for me, especially considering his contributions to football,” Mbappe shared at a press conference.

“He’s a unique figure… there will never be another Cristiano Ronaldo. He has revolutionized football. He inspires generations with his goals, his trophy wins – his resume speaks for itself.”

While acknowledging Ronaldo’s stature, Mbappe voiced his hope that France would emerge victorious, aiming to progress to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Mbappe predicted a closely contested match, emphasizing the importance of minor details in deciding the outcome at the Volksparkstadion.

“The Euros are always tightly contested, a very challenging competition for us. Now, only top teams remain, and every detail, whether in attack or defense, matters,” he explained.

Reflecting on France’s preparations, Mbappe highlighted improvements made during training sessions focused on finishing and intensity. Despite having to wear a protective mask since sustaining a nose injury in the tournament’s opening game, he expressed gratitude towards it, acknowledging its role in allowing him to continue playing.

“I’m fortunate; without the mask, I wouldn’t be here on the pitch. I should be thankful for it,” Mbappe remarked, noting that while the mask remains uncomfortable, it’s crucial for his participation until the competition concludes.

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