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Kylian Mbappe's spectacular rise: Europe continues to marvel at Monaco's 18-year-old prodigy

Mbappe's spectacular rise: Europe continues to marvel Monaco's 18-year-old prodigy
By Michael Hincks via Reuters

20/04/2017 at 11:26

French prodigy Kylian Mbappe continued his spectacular rise as shattered records and fired a free-scoring Monaco to the semi-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday.

The principality side beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 for a 6-3 aggregate win with the 18-year-old netting three times over both legs as Monaco joined Juventus, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the last four.

Mbappe became the youngest player to net five Champions League goals, the first to score in each of his first four games in Europe's premium club competition, and also the youngest to find the back of the net in both legs of a quarter-final tie.

A pacy forward with impressive temperament, Mbappe is the perfect weapon for Monaco, who have emerged as a formidable counter-attacking team.

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Mbappe, who has now scored 16 goals in his last 16 competitive outings, is the most efficient striker in Europe in terms of goals scored per minute, ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

He has naturally attracted interests from Real Madrid and Manchester United even though Mbappe has been keeping his feet on the ground.

Reporting from Reuters

WHAT HE SAID

"It's an incredible season for us, indeed. We're a group of friends who have fun on the pitch. We're very happy with that and hope to keep it going," Mbappe said after Wednesday's victory.

"We try not to think too much, we just play the way we are used to. It's an attackinggame, we play on the front foot.

"That's what we know best so we're not going to do anything else. Tonight it worked out fine and we qualified for the semi-finals."

WHAT THEY SAID

Former England and Man United defender Rio Ferdinand told BT Sport: "He's just 18 years old. Cool, calm, cold in front of goal. He made his goal look so simple, to caress it in the corner like he did.

"This guy has got a huge talent, the amount of goals he's got this season. Confidence, willingness to run and take people on. I think playing off [Radamel] Falcao's experience is a great learning curve."

Former France and Barcelona winger Ludovic Giuly told French sports daily L'Equipe: "He puts a lot of intensity in his every move so it is normal that he gets tired.

"He won't be able to play all the games at this level. But he is so fast that sometimes he finds himself on his own even if he proved he can also play for his team mates," added the 40-year-old who was a member of the Monaco team who reached the Champions League final in 2004."

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