News » Mbappé may idolise Ronaldo but he could end his Euros career on 2024-07-05 04:56:28
HAMBURG, Germany -- Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappé met for the first time 12 years ago; Ronaldo the Real Madrid galáctico and Mbappé the unknown kid from Paris on a scouting trip.

There's a picture from the day in December 2012, taken at Madrid's Valdebebas training centre. Ronaldo is smiling and giving a thumbs up while Mbappé looks every bit the starstruck teenager.

On Friday in Hamburg they will meet again. Now it's Mbappé, the new face of Real Madrid and Ronaldo, the man coming to the end of his era of greatness which includes success at the Bernabéu that Mbappé can only hope to match. At 39 years old, Ronaldo is playing out his last days as European football's pre-eminent global superstar. Mbappé is one of those in line to take over.

As a 14-year-old, Mbappé's bedroom at his home in the northeastern Paris suburb of Bondy was covered in pictures of Ronaldo. He would watch videos of his goals on YouTube. When his free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain to Real Madrid was confirmed in June -- following in the footsteps of his boyhood idol -- Ronaldo posted a comment on the France international's announcement on Instagram saying it was "my turn to watch." The comment received more than five million 'likes' on the social media platform.