Kylian Mbappé has told the story of his first meeting with French legend Zinedine Zidane, revealing that the Real Madrid manager sent out a specific request for him to train with the club in his early teenage years.
The now 21-year-old made a name for himself at AS Monaco after joining the club from hometown side Bondy in 2013, and is now one of world football's most recognisable names following his exploits with his former club, current team Paris Saint-Germain and France - with whom he won the World Cup in 2018.
Mbappé has revealed to The Players' Tribune that Los Blancos got in touch with his parents to arrange the trip to Madrid, which ended up coming in the week of his 14th birthday, and that Zidane himself met him at the training ground; offering to give him a lift to the playing fields.
Zidane was Real's sporting director at the time.
Shedding some light on his brief spell in Madrid, Mbappé said: "I will never forget the moment that we arrived at the training centre from the airport.
"Zidane met us in the parking lot by his car, and it was a really nice car, of course. We said hello, and then he offered to drive me over to the field for training. He was pointing at the front seat, like, 'Go on, get in.'
"But I just froze and I asked, 'Should I take off my shoes?'
"Hahaha! I don’t know why I said that. But it was Zizou’s car! He thought that was really funny. He said, 'Of course not, come on, get in.'
"He drove me to the training pitch, and I was just thinking to myself, 'I am in Zizou’s car. I am Kylian from Bondy. This is not real. I must still be sleeping on the aeroplane'."
A lot has happened since. Mbappé hasn't just established himself as one of the best young players on the planet, but one of the best of the lot, and he is coveted by many of the world's biggest clubs. Zidane's Real Madrid are one of them.
Zidane has already publicly stated that he's "in love with Mbappé as a person" throughout the rumours linking him with a move to the Spanish capital, adding even more fuel to the fire by saying it's the France international's "dream is to play for Real Madrid" during his career.
In the wide-ranging interview, Mbappé also spoke about having posters of current teammate Neymar on his wall and his advice to those who could follow in his footsteps.
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