Eden Hazard Praises Kylian Mbappe, Explains Childhood Photo in France Shirt

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kylian mbappe

France star Kylian Mbappe is one of the major breakout performers of this World Cup, and Eden Hazard is one of many who have taken notice. Mbappe is being extensively praised by football observers from all over the world right now, with Belgium’s Hazard deeming the 19-year-old a strong candidate for the Ballon d’Or award.

“Based on what he is showing, obviously there is Ballon d’Or capacity. In terms of potential, as well as quality, for me, yes, he already deserves the Ballon d’Or,” the 27-year-old Chelsea star said to beIN Sports France, ahead of the Belgium-France World Cup semifinal tomorrow.

BALLON D'OR

The winner of tomorrow’s clash will take on the winner of Wednesday’s other semifinal between England and Croatia.

The Ballon d’Or has been a duopoly for the past decade with Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi claiming every single award since 2007 (Kaka).  However, this year’s race is very wide open, and Mbappe is certainly in the mix. Hazard pointed out just how rare it is to see a meteoric rise like we are witnessing with Mbappe.

“We have never seen this in modern football,” Hazard added.

Hazard also commented on an infamous photo which surfaced online over the weekend. Take a look below, as it shows Eden with two of his three brothers, Thorgan and Kylian, wearing the France kit as children:

Eden Hazard admits that as a kid he jumped on the France bandwagon, supporting the 1998 World Cup winners over his native Belgium.

“This is the only one (photo) going. You know, I have already said this,” he said.

“We grew up more on the French side than the Belgian, in terms of being football fans; we grew up with 1998.”

This all Europe World Cup final four is certainly a very compelling one, due to all the engaging storylines.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect centers around how three of the four semifinalists: France, Belgium and England, have a reputation for not meeting the promise of their traditionally extremely talented rosters.

We discussed this angle, while previewing the World Cup semis with Jarrett Payton on CLTV’s Sports Feed last night:

There is a very good chance, 3/4 to be exact that by the time this tournament ends on Sunday, one of these nations gets to bury the underachiever label; at least for a very long time.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.

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