Real Madrid past and present: Kylian Mbappe comments on Euro 2024 clash with Cristiano Ronaldo

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Kylian Mbappe says it will be an ‘honour’ to face Cristiano Ronaldo as France and Portugal lock horns in their Euro 2024 quarter-finals. 

The two nations go head-to-head in Hamburg on Friday in a repeat of the Euro 2016 final, which Portugal won 1-0 to seal their first-ever major international trophy.

Mbappe left Paris Saint-Germain to join Real Madrid this summer; the club where Ronaldo scored 450 goals in 438 appearances between 2009 and 2018, winning four Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles.

The 25-year-old Frenchman will hope to achieve similar greatness to Ronaldo at the Santiago Bernabeu but first, he’s relishing going up against the five-time Ballon d’Or winner at the Euros.

“It’s the admiration I’ve always had for Cristiano, for the player. Over time, I’ve had the chance to get to know him and talk to him many times. We’re still in touch,” said Mbappe (via BBC Sport).

“He’s always trying to give me advice and keep up to date with what’s going on. Playing against him is an honour for everything he’s done in football.

“No matter what happened before or what happens after, he’ll always be a legend of the game. But of course, we hope to win and reach the semi-finals.”

Mbappe: There will only be one Ronaldo

Friday’s clash will be viewed by many as a passover moment in Europe between the Ronaldo era and the time of Mbappe.

However, Mbappe has no interest in emulating Ronaldo — which is perhaps an impossible task. Instead, he wants to use the years ahead to write his own story in Madrid.

“There will only be one [Ronaldo] I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to start living my dream as a player in Madrid,” said Mbappe.

“I hope I’ll write a great story there, but I’m certainly not going there to write the rest of Cristiano’s story. What he did in Madrid is unique.

“You have to appreciate what he has been, what he is. I’ve never been an envious person, so I just want to admire the greatness of the player.

“He left his mark on the history of football. He inspired generations. He has scored many goals and won many titles. So his CV speaks for itself.”

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