Which players must Mbappé emulate to succeed at Real Madrid?


Kylian Mbappé’s transition to Real Madrid is one of the most anticipated moves in recent football history.

As the French superstar prepares to make his mark at the Santiago Bernabéu, he can draw inspiration from former players who have successfully navigated the pressures and expectations of playing for Los Blancos. Here’s a look at six Real Madrid legends whose journeys offer valuable lessons for Mbappé.

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Karim Benzema: The model of perseverance

When Karim Benzema joined Real Madrid in 2009, he arrived in the shadow of superstars Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo. Competing against Gonzalo Higuaín, who outscored him in their first season, Benzema faced significant challenges. It wasn’t until his third season that Benzema’s statistics began to reflect his true potential. He endured a benching by José Mourinho and waited four years to surpass Higuaín. Benzema’s patience paid off, becoming the leader of the attack post-Ronaldo and achieving record-breaking feats. His journey underscores the importance of perseverance and patience, qualities Mbappé will need to thrive at Real Madrid.

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Raymond Kopa: Embracing ruthlessness

Raymond Kopa’s story is a lesson in competitive ruthlessness. After losing the 1956 European Cup final with Stade de Reims to Real Madrid, Kopa switched allegiances and played for Real against his former team in the 1959 final, leading his new team to victory. Kopa’s ability to prioritize his career and excel at Real Madrid, even against former teammates, demonstrates the ruthless edge required to succeed at the highest level. Mbappé can take a page from Kopa’s book by putting his professional aspirations above all else.

Lassana Diarra: Staying true to yourself

Lassana Diarra joined Real Madrid in 2008 from Portsmouth and made an immediate impact. Despite the pressures of playing for the world’s most prestigious club, Diarra insisted on having “Lass” on the back of his jersey, a nickname that had followed him throughout his career. His determination to stay authentic and true to himself resonated well with fans and teammates. Mbappé, known for his strong personality, can benefit from maintaining his identity and confidence amid the spotlight at Real Madrid.

Julien Faubert: Embracing every opportunity

Julien Faubert’s brief stint at Real Madrid may have been limited to just two substitute appearances, but he boasts an unbeaten record while wearing the white jersey. Faubert’s secret was his linguistic adaptability, using his knowledge of multiple languages to integrate seamlessly into the multi-national dressing room. His ability to connect with teammates from different backgrounds is a valuable trait for Mbappé, who will need to gel with a diverse squad to ensure success.

Nicolas Anelka: Delivering when It matters

Nicolas Anelka’s tenure at Real Madrid was short but impactful. Despite scoring only seven goals, Anelka’s strikes were crucial, particularly in the Champions League semifinals against Bayern Munich. His ability to perform in critical moments helped Real Madrid secure European glory. Mbappé, known for his clutch performances, can draw inspiration from Anelka’s knack for delivering in high-stakes situations.

Luca Zidane: Entertaining the fans

Luca Zidane, son of the legendary Zinedine Zidane, may not have had a long career with Real Madrid’s first team, but he certainly made his mark. Known for his entertaining yet erratic performances with Castilla and the U19 team, Luca provided plenty of memorable moments. While consistency is key, Mbappé can learn from Zidane’s fearless approach to the game, ensuring that he continues to dazzle fans with his unique talent.

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This article explores the different paths taken by Real Madrid legends that Kylian Mbappé can look to for inspiration as he embarks on his journey with the club. From Karim Benzema’s perseverance to Raymond Kopa’s ruthlessness, and Lassana Diarra’s authenticity to Julien Faubert’s adaptability, Mbappé has a wealth of examples to guide his integration into the team. By embracing these lessons, Mbappé can maximize his potential and leave a lasting legacy at Real Madrid.

Guillaume Aigron
Guillaume Aigron
Hello! I'm Guillaume Aigron ! I share my love for all things sports. From the thrilling rallies of tennis to the dynamic plays of football, my blog explores the wide world of sports through detailed analysis, personal anecdotes, and the latest news. As a lifelong sports fan, I've transformed my enthusiasm into a platform for fellow enthusiasts who appreciate not just the games themselves, but the stories and strategies behind them. Join me as we celebrate the spirit of competition and the joy of sportsmanship through every post!


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