At this point, Kylian Mbappé might be bored with French football.
As Paris Saint-Germain were dancing all over Saint-Etienne in the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue, Mbappé received a pass in the 77th minute just outside the top of the box. He had a good amount of space in front of him, and could have reasonably taken a touch forward before shooting on goal. But instead of doing the sensible thing, Mbappé went for style points:
A rabona shot from outside the box during a counter attack can only come from someone who finds things way too easy. That’s the shot of a man who has beaten the video game and is returning to it just to try all the cool shit that he couldn’t do when he was taking the game seriously. He takes the shot so casually that it seems he thinks he’s in practice rather than playing in a consequential game.
It’s surreal to think about Mbappé as he is right now. At just 21 years old, he is not only a World Cup winner, but legitimately one of the best players in the world. He has scored more than 100 goals in his professional career. While other players of his age are trying to figure out who they are and what they’re capable of, he has been named the French footballer of the year twice, and has caught the attention of one Lionel Messi.
The ridiculousness of his existence is somehow easy to forget because he is in his own sphere among young players, but then there are moments like the rabona when it sets in. It’s not that Mbappé had the audacity to try that shot — other players have done the same, and some have scored — but the fact that he could do it so casually that makes you realize how other-worldly he is.
At a time when he should be struggling to learn who he is, Mbappé is better than almost everyone in the league. Knowing that, all he can do is find new ways to keep himself entertained.