Paris Saint Germain wonder kid, Kylian Mbappe has revealed that Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo was his “idol” when he was young.
He said he hopes PSG can “send a message to the world” by scoring a landmark Champions League win at the home of Real Madrid, a club that also tried to sign him last summer.”
Mbappe believes his team can overtake Real and become “the best team in the world.”
He said: “I’m very young. There’s time but as I say, I want to play in the best team in the world in the future and I believe PSG has everything to achieve that. If this team grows with me, there is no reason to leave.
“Real have dominated football in recent years but it’s not just them now.
“There are other big teams, like [Manchester] City, Juventus, Bayern [Munich] and we are also there. But I believe the team that wins our tie will be clear favourites to win the Champions League. If we are capable of eliminating Real then the other teams will fear us.”
Real host PSG on Feb. 14 in the Champions League round-of-16 first leg before the return leg in Paris three weeks later.
“We know that at the Bernabeu we can send a message to the world,” Mbappe said.
“It’s a game that can be a turning point in our history against the defending champions and we are all very motivated,” he added.
PSG topped Group B ahead of Bayern while Real finished second behind Tottenham in Group H.
“We’ve had a very good group stage and we have the opportunity to prove to the world that we can eliminate the team that successfully defended the Champions League.
“There is no pressure, not at all, the pressure doesn’t fall on us.
“We will go there to play our game, show our football and give everything to qualify. We are two of the best teams in the world. Real are the best team in the world, they have won the Champions League two times in a row and we are growing.
“I think it’s going to be a great tie and we will go to the Bernabeu determined to qualify. We respect every team but as soon as we arrive at the Bernabeu, there will no more respect. It will be a case of showing our quality.
“I’ve played in many big venues, but never at the Bernabeu.
“It will be my first time and the truth is that I want to take a good look the day before the game and prepare well.
“Cristiano was my idol when I was young and it was great to meet him when I went to [Real’s training ground] Valdebebas. I adored him when I was young but that ended. He’s a great player but we also have them [great players] here.
“I have Neymar here who I believe is very similar and is practically at the same level as Cristiano. I’m learning, too, from Cavani, who is a goal scorer.
“But I’m a competitor and what I want is to win. I don’t care who I have in front of me”, Mbappe said.