“the ideal big brother”, why Mbappé is the favorite of children

Kylian Mbappé, on fire since the start of the World Cup and looking forward to this Saturday’s quarter-final against England, will see his popularity ratings rise again, especially with the young audience he has captivated.

He may be the only one to resist the Kylian Mbappe tornado. The insatiable striker of the Blues and PSG has made a habit of overturning everything in his path since the peak of his 23-year-old career. This is what his daily life looks like, panicking counters, collecting trophies, showing all his class in front of our admiring eyes. And yet, one man continues to do better than him for three years. In 2020, 2021 and 2022, he beat the boy from Bondi every time… Soprano in the annual ranking of favorite personalities for children aged 7-14, created by the famous Journal de Mickey. This year, he even had to settle for third place ahead of the Marseille singer Soprano and Miguel Mattioli, better known as Michou, a young videographer with eight million subscribers on YouTube. But rest assured, Mbappe has a chance to claim the throne he sits on in 2019. And too bad for Soprano.

Edith Rieubon, editor-in-chief of RMC Sport, a magazine for 9-12-year-olds, says: “If the Blues go far in the World Cup, they risk ruining everything in the next poll. It’s a good start.” Obviously, it is primarily his exploits on the pitch that make Mbappe so admired. The younger generation dreams of the same fate as the Parisian, a goal-scoring machine and defensive nightmare at the World Cup who already scored five goals before facing England in the quarter-finals. To gauge the aura of this phenomenon, just go to a club in the Paris area. Opinions are unanimous and no one here is talking to you about Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Erling Haaland. “He is the best because he runs fast and is always a threat. He dribbles and is very strong. We love him a lot. We would like to be like him. He controls the game and makes good passes. He runs fast, like a cheetah,” says Levallois Sporting Young residents Gabriel and Ethan, aged 8 and 9, from Club Football.

“He inspires”

Their girlfriend Fatimatou has stars in her eyes when she talks about her idol, who shines at a speed of 35 km/h and, above all, the author of the dazzling double against Poland (3:1) in the round of 16: “He scores a lot of goals. I know that he is the fastest he’s a footballer. I want to be like him when I grow up, and I want to be a great striker.””I watch almost every PSG game and he scores half the goals,” sums up their friend Paul quite well.

But his alien performance doesn’t explain everything. When you’re 10 or 11, it’s not the most important thing to know how many assists Mbappé has offered this season or why he’s more comfortable when paired with a striker who can fix defenses. “In addition to being insanely talented, he is inspirational. If Soprano is like the ideal father, then Mbappe is the ideal big brother, the brother that all children want to have. He has a strong personality. We know he is very strong. The 2018 world champion” Edith Rieubon, emphasizing her “very strong associative attachment”, was attached to her family, which passed on important values ​​to her.

Generosity takes many forms. In March 2020, from the first days of his imprisonment, Mbappé donated to the Abbé Pierre Foundation, supporting the most fragile people and people in very dangerous situations. This has enabled the financing of emergency measures: access to water and food, shelter for homeless people, financing of raids… Just one example among many others.

A person who regularly distributes the amount of rewards he received during the election to noble works has also created his own association. With “Inspired by KM”, his aim is to encourage the success of young people from different social backgrounds until they enter the working life. “Yes, that’s really the idea. It’s to reach out to them, to have the first baton to get them into business life. I know how difficult it is to have that help, and I think it’s my duty to reach out to the other side. Then I “I don’t necessarily want them to be footballers, and I don’t think there are any who actually play football. Let them have their dreams. We don’t want to impose anything on them. Support them. That’s the motto of this association,” he explained on BFMTV last summer.

sincere generosity

In addition, Mbappé, a sponsor of the “Premieres de cordée” association, which seeks to improve the daily lives of hospitalized children through various initiatives, multiplies its projects to reach a generation that welcomes its stances, whether on police violence or racism. “His commitment demands respect. He is impeccable, very busy with associations and has no pot, provocative image. The same for Antoine Griezmann (eighth in the latest Mickey magazine ranking). This year Mbappe joined. Enfoirés show, very popular with children is an event. It also gives the impression of being close, accessible to the audience,” says Edith Rieubon.

Mbappe seems to be an example of embracing (trying to) this “generational leader” status with an interesting trajectory in the four corners of the country. “He seems to be an example of success for these young people. He is happy to be in the French national team, to fulfill his profession as a footballer. His paths intersect with different trends that exist in French society. Are these young people? Are the people from the suburbs good people? Are the footballers good people? He that’s all. Yes, they’re good,” sports sociologist Patrick Mignon emphasized with the Parisian in 2018.

Mbappe amazes children with his careful communication and sincere participation in the association environment between his XXL performances every weekend. This contrasts with the way his detractors may view him in the No.10 tricolor, confident that the line is sometimes held between confidence and arrogance. “I’ve never had the habit of hiding,” Mbappe told BFMTV in June. “I don’t want to just play football and go home. I’m a member of this community like everyone else. Everyone, everyone has their say, I just have a little more voice.” .But I really try to behave according to my values ​​and principles.(…) And this allows me to leave a mark other than football, A mark as a human being, because my life as a football player will end.” Fortunately, this is not planned immediately. Before even thinking about retirement, there is already a second World Cup to be held in Qatar. And for “Kyk’s”, the first place to restore in the hearts of children.

Rodolphe Ryo with Maria Azé

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