Karim Benzema has claimed that the spectacular rise of Kylian Mbappe is comparable to only one other footballer: Barcelona megastar Neymar.
The Real Madrid striker likened his compatriot to one of the best players currently playing for his club's bitter rivals in an interview with L'Equipe as he lauded Mbappe's blossoming talent.
The Monaco wonderkid has shot to superstardom during the 2016/17 campaign with a number of superb displays as the club's leading marksman, and Benzema said he believes that Mbappe's rapid rise isn't too dissimilar to Neymar when the Brazilian emerged as a footballing starlet.
He said: "What Mbappe does now in Ligue 1 and even more so in the Champions League in Monaco's great run is exceptional. The last player who seemed as good and precocious at this level? Neymar."
Benzema knows all about the hallmarks - and perils - of being a young footballer with the world at his feet, with the France international having enjoyed a similar breakthrough season while he was at former club Lyon.
The 29-year-old has already offered advice to Mbappe about moving abroad too soon into his playing career as reports link the 18-year-old with switches to Manchester United and Chelsea, and he urged Mbappe to think long and hard about what was best for his career before making any split-second decisions that could lead to his development stalling.
Kylian Mbappé:— 8 Fact Football (@8Fact_Footballl) May 17, 2017
Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year ✅
Ligue 1 Team of the Year ✅ pic.twitter.com/sR7AA8gRi8
Benzema added: "He's a phenomenon for his age, but needs to establish himself long term. At the start, the superlatives come very quickly.
"I was billed the same way when I made my Lyon debut aged 17, scored my first Champions League goal and then became Ligue 1's leading scorer in 2008. You have to keep the same level when you grow up and are in difficulty.
"That's when you see if you can make the step up, even more so if you're at a very big club, or if you just remain a good player as many have after they shone when they were very young."
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