MADRID, Spain, May 2 – Real Madrid and Liverpool legend Steve McManaman has heaped praise on Monaco rising star Kylian Mbappe ahead of their Champions League clash with Juventus on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old France striker with Cameroonian roots has scored an astonishing 18 goals in as many matches and McManaman believes he could trouble Juventus.
“He has everything going for him. Pace, power and technical ability. He will come up against experienced Juve defence that has Chiellini (Giorgio) and Bonucci (Leonardo), so it will be interesting to see how he fares against them,” McManaman, who has since forged an impressive punditry career, said.
The former Real and Liverpool winger, now an ambassador of leading betting firm Dafabet, claimed Monaco has been the most exciting team to watch in the Uefa Champions League and would be a delight to watch them in final.
“They score lots of goals which makes for an exciting team to watch. In the Round of 16 against Manchester City and Dortmund in quarterfinal, they showed their attacking qualities every fan of football would like to watch,” he said.
He added: “Pity Monaco are coming up against a team of Juventus quality but to be the best you have to play against top teams. And so, there is a genuine belief in Monaco that they can get a result against Juventus.”
Dafabet have odds of 2.95 for a Monaco win on www.dafabet.co.ke and 2.4 for a Juventus win, which suggests an expected tight game tonight.
Juventus beat Monaco 1-0 in Turin following a goalless draw in the first leg of Group matches.
Mbappe has forged a deadly attacking partnership with Colombian striker Radmel Falcao and now heads into the first leg of the Uefa Champions League in fine form having scored five goals in his last five appearances, including a brace against Borussia Dortmund in the previous round.
The teenager is keen to test himself against the experienced Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
“He is a goalkeeper, who has made his mark on history, one of the best in the world,” Mbappe told the UEFA website. “I’m glad I’ll play against him.
“You work every day to play against players like him. When you do, you want to give your best to beat them.