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Kylian Mbappé vs. Christian Pulisic: Battle Of The 19-Year-Old Wonderkids

Both born in 1998, France’s Kylian Mbappé and the U.S.’ Christian Pulisic are football superstars who, if both continue being great, will be of yet another generation that redefines the beautiful game. The question is, who’s the better 19-year-old?  

Mbappé has been a global phenomenon ever since the Paris Saint-Germain forward won the World Cup with the French national team. On the other hand we have Pulisic, an attacking midfielder for Borussia Dortmund who’s practically destined to lead the USMNT to glory someday.

Finances, accolades and character — let’s put the boys to the test, shall we? But first, a quick warm up as we take a look at each player’s goal-scoring abilities.

Now, we are ready.

Kylian Mbappe vs Christian Pulisic

Who’s Got The Dough?

At 19, us mere mortals are still living off the backs of our parents and loved ones. Or, for the so called independent, we’re beginning to create that mountain of debt that stands proudly behind, in front of and, well, all around us at any given moment in time.

Not Mbappé or Pulisic. Not even when they were younger and playing for Monaco and Brackley Town, respectively, but don’t expect Pulisic to be hitting higher numbers than the Frenchman. After all, Mbappé still hasn’t cooled off from the World Cup and he won’t be anytime soon.

Pulisic, according to Paywizard, receives an annual salary of $1.14 million with German club Borussia Dortmund. Forbes, as of late 2017, states Pulisic’s market value at $22 million, which, in the world of football transfers, is pretty low. The Pennsylvania born Pulisic may want to step up his game and increase his value before mid-2020, when his contract with Dortmund ends. Coed puts Pulisic in the range of $50-$100 million in the transfer market with a net worth of $55 million as of 2018.

As for Mbappé, currently the world’s most expensive teenage footballer, how and where do we even begin? The blazing hot World Cup favorite is probably at a higher value right now than fire when it was first discovered by man. Finapp estimates Mbappé’s net worth to be $82 million with an annual income of $23 million and personal investments of $44 million. Good God, Kylian. Take it easy.

Not to mention the dude owns a number of luxury cars, but materialism is for losers. Happy losers that is. He’s definitely worth more than the World Cup trophy.

Mbappé wins the financial battle, duh.

What Is Glory Without The Honors?

I know, I know. It’s totally not fair, but one of these teens is the clear and undeniable superior, but let’s be honest. You can totally read this segment out loud in front of the loser’s fans and enjoy their lamentation. I’m talking about you, Pulisic, step your game up.

Here’s a list of some of the remarkable achievements in Mbappé’s trophy room:

Golden Boy (2017), FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award (2018), UNFP Player of the Month (April 2017, March 2018), Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year (2016-2017, 2017-2018), FIFA World Cup Winner (2018), Ligue 1 Champion (Monaco 2016-2017).

Why stop there? With PSG in the 2017-18 season, Mbappé won a trifecta of Ligue 1 (second time), Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue championships.

Mbappé was also the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele in 1958, 60 years ago. Pele even sent a message to the young Frenchman regarding that accolade.

To which Mbappé replied:

As for Pulisic, here are his, umm, achievements:

U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year (2016), UEFA Champions League Breakthrough XI (2016), U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year (2017) and DFB-Pokal champion (2016-17).

Pulisic is also the youngest to score in a World Cup qualifier for the U.S., the youngest ever to score a brace in U.S. history and youngest American to start a World Cup qualifier. In 2017, Pulisic scored his first Champions League goal against Benfica FC in the Round of 16 which made him Dortmund’s youngest scorer in the competition. He is also the Bundesliga’s youngest non-German scorer.

Pulisic has one club tournament title with Dortmund when they won the DFB-Pokal, the German Cup, in the 2016-2017 season.

Mbappé wins. Again. Clearly.

A Future Leader?

Mbappé and Pulisic have both shown excellent resolve as young, talented footballers who are also relatively inexperienced compared to their peers. They both have what it takes to lead a generation on the pitch and off. Pulisic, in this category, has the upper hand…or right leg?

Kylian Mbappé was in a team bound for World Cup glory as France’s efforts in the World Cup usually gets them further than other competitors. It’s a team that’s been hungry for more victory and glory since 1998, when Mbappé was born. The PSG forward has the luxury of doing his best knowing the youth academies, his national team and country’s culture are all set perfectly in this grand highway towards football excellence.

Pulisic has it different — clearest example is the U.S. not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup (although Pulisic led all scorers in the Hex with five goals).

It comes as no surprise that Pulisic is already planning the U.S.’s return to the grand stage, especially since Mexico, the U.S. and Canada are hosting the 2026 World Cup. It will be a first for America in over 30 years (since 1994). Pulisic is also in the works with the new U.S. team initiative documenting the rise of players into the U.S. national team.

Pulisic also shared words of wisdom with the Bundesliga:

“I'm going to give everything I can to put the team in the best shape possible. I definitely feel responsibility for helping to get us back to the World Cup. You know, I feel that I let some people down. I guess I just kind of want to make up for that and I'm going to continue giving everything for that reason,” Pulisic said.

"I would love to act as a leader for all the young players on the team. Of course I'm still a younger player myself, but I'm always there for these other younger players to talk through whenever they need it. I think my biggest role is just leading by example. It has always been my goal to inspire other Americans to do what I do. I'm happy to act as a leader to any young American."

When it comes to leadership and the conditions needed to forge a commanding character, they're clearly more prevalent in Pulisic’s life. Mbappé, not to dog on him, still has the potential to shock the world too since he has the makings of a future captain in any team if he continues this winning role.

However, is the wolf on top of the hill hungrier than the one on the bottom? Sure, the one on top can eat whenever it wants, but the one coming up the hill is doing so because it doesn’t have anything to eat…yet.

Pulisic wins the test of character, but Mbappé wins Mbappé vs. Pulisic.

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