Andros Townsend hailed Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe as a “ special player ”, a “ scary talent ” and the second coming of the great Brazilian Ronaldo.
But the Crystal Palace ace sparked controversy on talkSPORT on Wednesday morning by naming the World Cup winner as the best footballer on the planet at the moment, while leaving Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo out of his top three!
Mbappe is at the center of the soccer world after putting Messi in the shadows by scoring a brilliant hat-trick against Barcelona, leading PSG to a landslide 4-1 Champions League victory in the 16th.
After the game, fans and pundits wondered if the 22-year-old Frenchman finally usurped Messi and Ronaldo as the world’s best player.
And Townsend has made it clear which side he is currently on, with the Premier League star suggesting that Messi and Ronaldo’s reign at the top of the game is over.
“Mbappe is a special and special player,” he told talkSPORT Breakfast.
“I remember when he first arrived the criticism was that he was just quick and had no substance in his game, but now you’re starting to see a well-rounded player.
“He literally has everything.
“He reminds me of R9 [Ronaldo, the Brazilian one]; how lively he is, how good he is a finisher, how calm he is.
“It’s scary that he’s just a young kid and still over ten years old at the top level.
The Palace ace was then tasked with naming his three best footballers in the world right now… and it’s fair to say he struggled, as he changed his mind about ten minutes later.
However, there was a common thread in his two selections – neither Messi nor Ronaldo …
“It’s sad to say because I grew up with Messi and Ronaldo, but for me at the moment I can’t put them in my top three.
“I’m going to go: three, Kevin De Bruyne, two, Neymar, one, Kylian Mbappe.
“Five or ten years ago, Ronaldo and Messi absolutely dominated the games, controlled the games and took the games by the skin of the neck.
“Now, of course, they’re in their thirties; they still hit amazing numbers, but they don’t control games like they once were.
“Age affects everyone, and it’s just not the same.”
After receiving a bit of a stick from the listeners, Andros later had the opportunity to change his selection and admitted he made a mistake (he bottled it, essentially) in naming two players. wounded.
So here’s what he came up with instead …
“I can tinker with it, but that will probably only get more controversial!”
“In no particular order this time I’m going to Mbappe, Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah – these are my top three players in the world right now.
What do you think about this?