The Kylian Mbappé-Erling Haaland rivalry is unlikely to be the same as Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo, despite fans’ high expectations.
The latter is coming to an end. Both have plied their trade on a different continent at the twilight of their career. Such has even been made final by the Portuguese skipper’s statement recently that his rivalry with La Pulga is over.
Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland have been tipped as the next one to follow their seniors’ footsteps. They undeniably have become the face of football in the future. Unfortunately, their rivalry might not be similar to the heated Messi-Ronaldo in the last decade. Here could be the reason behind it.
Mbappé-Haaland rivalry will not be the same as Messi-Ronaldo
No face-off in a final yet
Mbappé and Haaland have yet to face off in the Champions League final. It is very unlikely to happen anytime soon, unless the Frenchman moves to Madrid. They are already 24 and 22 respectively. It was different with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The hype of their rivalry began in 2009 UCL final after their first encounter in the semi final of UCL 2008. At that time, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were at the same age as Haaland & Mbappé now. Their rivalry was even more intense when the Portuguese living legend signed for Real Madrid, Barcelona’s arch-rival. So the rivalry’s exposure was even bigger as their encounter became more frequent. Meanwhile, Mbappé and Haaland just met once in the quarterfinal of Champions League 2020.
Not contenders in Ballon d’Or & FIFA Best
Haaland and Mbappé have yet to be nominated in the top three in either Ballon d’Or or FIFA Best together in the same year. The Manchester City frontman could be named one of the top three in the former this year. Meanwhile, the PSG forward earned the second place in FIFA Best award 2022.
It was different from Messi and Ronaldo. Both were already in the top three for those two prestigious awards in 2007 when Messi was still 21 and CR7 was 23. They were consistently on the top three list and even almost in turn won the awards within 2008-2017 plus 2019.
Not playing in the same league
This is one major reason why the exposure on Mbappé-Haaland rivalry has not been so big, because neither plays in the same league. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had played in the same domestic league, La Liga, from 2010 to 2018. El Classico at that time would even become heated with the brawl, nasty challenges, etc. Even Messi himself said that CR7’s presence lifted up La Liga prestige and also their own motivation. No one can tell when Haaland and Mbappé will eventually share the same domestic competitions.
No dramatic life story
Mbappé and Haaland did not have to go through a tough life when they were children. They both were raised in a middle upper class family and even have former athletes as parents. This is in stark contrast to Messi and Ronaldo. The Argentine was not born in a rich family. His parents even could not pay for the growth hormone therapy for his physical deficiency he once suffered.
The Portuguese star also came from a poor family and was even about to be aborted by her own mother because his family had too many children already. Both had dramatic turns of events too in their life. The Argentine talisman was once turned down by River Plate and got his contract written on tissue by Barcelonaès representative at that time, Carles Rexach. Ronaldo was once even expelled from school when he was young.
The stance to Messi-Ronaldo rivalry
This is probably the ultimate reason why the Mbappé and Haaland rivalry might not be as good as Messi and Ronaldo’s. Both Mbappé and Haaland think that it is impossible to compare themselves to two legends of the game. They have much respect for them. The former Monaco man might still be interested in getting involved in a rivalry with the Norwegian forward. However, he doesn’t like to compare himself to others or even think about making a rivalry with the PSG man.
Whether it is Mbappé and Haaland, or Messi and Ronaldo, they are all football stars of the era. They have excellent performance on the pitch, so they have gained the trust and popularity of fans around the world. For fans who love them and football, they are all powerful idols. Fans can express their love by customizing gifts related to them, such as Custom Lapel Pins , which can be worn on clothes and backpacks, or can also be used