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The Warm-Up: The ridiculous reality of Kylian Mbappe

The Warm-Up: The ridiculous reality of Kylian Mbappe

12/10/2018 at 07:03Updated 12/10/2018 at 09:44

The Warm-Up's typical week at the age of 19 involved lengthy lie-ins, hours of Football Manager, trebles-for-singles nights, and maybe a lecture or two. Kylian Mbappe, though, is living a rather different life.


What a week for Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe is 19.

On Sunday, he scored four goals in 13 minutes for Paris Saint-Germain in their 5-0 win over Lyon in Ligue 1.

Kylian Mbappe is 19.

On Monday, he was nominated for the Ballon d’Or award, which he arguably deserves to win, and the inaugural Kopa award, which he certainly deserves to win.

Kylian Mbappe is 19.

On Thursday morning, he was unveiled as the latest cover star for Time magazine.

Kylian Mbappe is 19.

On Thursday evening he came on as a 60th-minute substitute with France losing 2-0 to Iceland in a friendly, forced an own goal with one of his shots and then scored a 90th-minute penalty.

Kylian Mbappe is 19.

The spot-kick was his 10th goal for France– making him the youngest player to ever reach this tally for Les Bleus. He has 68 career goals in total.

Kylian Mbappe is nine f****** teen.

England to turn the air blue

England's manager Gareth Southgate arrives for a press conference at Rujevica football stadium in Rijeka

England's manager Gareth Southgate arrives for a press conference at Rujevica football stadium in RijekaGetty Images

Speaking of swearing, three national newspapers have all taken the strange decision to lead their back pages with the ‘news’ that Gareth Southgate has said he won’t ask his players to tone down their language for Friday night’s Nations League match against Croatia – which will be played behind-closed-doors in Rijeka and therefore runs the risk of showcasing some industrial language.

England have only played one Nations League match so far but with Spain having won both their opening two fixtures in Group 4 of League A, Friday night’s slightly surreal occasion already looks like being a relegation six-pointer with the atmosphere of a Wednesday night kickabout at your local Power League. Even down to the relaxed use of expletives.

“Well, we've spent two years encouraging them to speak, so to stop them from speaking now would be slightly against what we've been trying to work on," Southgate said.

" It's for the television companies to decide where they put their microphones. It's something we can't prepare for, other than we train in the same environment every day of the week. That's all the preparation we need, really."

In actual news, England are reportedly considering ditching the back three which took them to the World Cup semi-finals, where of course they lost to Croatia, as Southgate seeks more control in midfield.

According to reports, the team will be: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell; Henderson, Dier, Barkley; Sterling, Rashford; Kane

Young Lions run riot

Reiss Nelson of England celebrates scoring the sixth goal

Reiss Nelson of England celebrates scoring the sixth goalGetty Images

Tonight all eyes are on Jadon Sancho – and to a slightly lesser extent Mason Mount and James Maddison – as Southgate begins the process of incorporating some of the resplendent young talents England have coming through into his senior side for the Nations League match against Croatia.

As we can deduce from England’s successes at youth level across 2017, underneath the training pitches at St George’s Park there must be a secret factory building technically adept, intelligent young players who seem perfectly adjusted for the modern game – and even more of them were on show as England Under-21s hammered Andorra 7-0 last night.

Video - Jadon Sancho: Europe's assist king, England's history-maker


Graduates of the U20, U19 and even U17 teams of last year – hello, Phil Foden – were on show in Chesterfield. England only needed a point to qualify for next summer’s European U21 Championship but smashed in seven, with Ademola Lookman, Ezri Konza, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with two, Dominic Solanke, Reiss Nelson and an own goal filling Aidy Boothroyd’s pockets.

He may have only played for 20 minutes, but a goal, an assist and some outrageous touches meant that the star performer was Arsenal forward Reiss Nelson, currently on loan at Hoffenheim.

In around two years it’s going to be pretty hard to try to pick a squad of only 23 players. A quintessential nice problem to have for Southgate.


Just look at the bend on this from James Rodriguez in Colombia's match against USA:

And, well, this is probably the worst kit ever:


Heroes: Unexpectedly prolific strikers

Poland's Jan Bednarek, Krzysztof Piatek and Kamil Glik react

Poland's Jan Bednarek, Krzysztof Piatek and Kamil Glik reactGetty Images

Little-known outside of his native Poland a few months ago, 23-year-old striker Krzysztof Piatek has made history in Serie A by scoring in the opening seven games of the season for Genoa. And last night, he opened his account for Poland in only his second appearance: their 3-2 defeat to Portugal in the Nations League.

Paco Alcacer is also enjoying a prolific season having scored six goals in a barely believable 81 minutes of Bundesliga action for Borussia Dortmund since his summer move from Barcelona. Last night he got on the scoresheet for Spain in their 4-1 friendly win over Wales, who were missing Gareth Bale.


We could have picked Wayne Rooney's electrifying performance at Euro 2004. Or Kieran Trippier's (admittedly not so retro) free-kick in the World Cup semi-final. Or Theo Walcott's hat-trick from 2008. Or the 5-1 win in 2009. But because The Warm-Up is feeling grumpy this morning, our England v Croatia memory of choice is Paul Robinson's nightmare in 2006 - complete with the all-too perfect Borat advertising.


It’s the big one: Croatia v England, hosted in an empty stadium in Rijeka, kicks off at 7:45pm. You can follow the Nations League showdown live on the website from 7pm.

Marcus Foley will be here on Monday to forensically break down each Nations League group and give you every single permutation. Hold him to it.