The world's best footballer with France on his shoulders, his mother on his back and a string of supermodels on his arm: Now Kylian Mbappe wants to follow in Cristiano Ronaldo's path in the Euros and at Real Madrid

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Kylian Mbappe had barely stepped two feet off the stage at the famed Cala di Volpe hotel in Sardinia before he was escorted away from the rest of the party. As the best player in the world, there is little time these days to relax.

Mbappe had just collected the Best Men's Player award at the Globe Soccer Awards with some of football's biggest names in the audience heralding his success. Drinks were flowing and some of Italy's finest chefs were in town to serve up an array of special dishes.

And yet Mbappe, flanked by his travelling circus of publicists, bodyguards, and lawyers, among the key personnel in his entourage, was whisked away for whatever venture required his presence next.

Perhaps he was afforded some time to play games on his phone - he is 'glued' to it like many his age his mother once revealed. Perhaps not.

It is one of the indicators as to why, when 'Mbappe Mania' hit fever pitch in the wake of France's 2018 World Cup win, he put a disguise on to go for a drive around Paris without anyone noticing to bother him. Mbappe Mania will be back even stronger when he pitches up at Real Madrid, the biggest club in the world.

Kylian Mbappe (right) has agreed a five-year deal to join European champions Real Madrid

Kylian Mbappe (right) has agreed a five-year deal to join European champions Real Madrid

The careers of Kylian Mbappe (far left) and his younger brother Ethan (second from right) have been carefully managed by dad Wilfried (far right) and their no-nonsense mum Fayza Lamari

The careers of Kylian Mbappe (far left) and his younger brother Ethan (second from right) have been carefully managed by dad Wilfried (far right) and their no-nonsense mum Fayza Lamari

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  • LISTEN: It's All Kicking Off at the Euros. Get the latest action daily
    LISTEN: It's All Kicking Off at the Euros. Get the latest action daily
  • EPISODE 91: Can Manchester City cope without Pep Guardiola?
    EPISODE 91: Can Manchester City cope without Pep Guardiola?
  • EPISODE 90: How Manchester United CAN win crunch FA Cup clash
    EPISODE 90: How Manchester United CAN win crunch FA Cup clash
  • EPISODE 89: Why Manchester City aren't the reason the League is boring
    EPISODE 89: Why Manchester City aren't the reason the League is boring
  • 'It hasn't worked!' Is VAR the problem or the solution?
    'It hasn't worked!' Is VAR the problem or the solution?
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His notoriety these days is a far cry from his early years living on the 10th floor of a tower block in Bondy; his formative years spent in a Parisian banlieue which is part of the infamous Seine St Denis 93rd arrondissement, a place that earned a reputation for alarming crime rates, riots and violence.

It's a far cry, too, from his days at France's Clairefontaine development centre where he and the other rising stars would gamble their snacks playing games in the evenings, or battle for a can of Oasis during a crossbar challenge.

'Cacahuète' was his nickname during those two years in football's answer to boarding school - 'Peanut'. He was great even then, coaches would marvel at his skillset, but there was not the level of hysteria that follows him now.

 

Mbappe is the son of Fayza Lamari, a prominent division one handball player in France from the end of the 1990s until 2001, and Wilfried Mbappe, who himself was once a professional footballer and later became a coach at AS Bondby.

It was not unusual that Mbappe, even in his very early years, always found himself ahead of his peers.

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Whether it was sport or studies - where he was determined to be 'academically gifted' - or music, there was little Mbappe seemed incapable of doing.

From the age of six to 11 the now-Real Madrid megastar attended a performing arts centre where he would sing, read music and play the flute.

But for his many talents, Mbappe was also seen as 'talkative' and somewhat 'disruptive'; he was an individual with an energy source that needed to be harnessed.

He almost got kicked out of his school several times, according to a documentary once published by French newspaper L'Equipe. It was football which would help bring a discipline and a focus in which he could thrive in.

His parents, although now separated, have played a crucial role in his development from a rising star in Bondy to one of sport's most marketable athletes.

Lamari, who now works on behalf of her son as his agent, is no-nonsense and has carefully constructed his career to this point. She has been unforgiving in contract negotiations - even with her son in terms of her commission - and recently helped thrash out the deal to make him Real Madrid's top earner with an image rights agreement that nobody in the squad can match.

Even at 17 when he turned professional, with Mbappe gaining notoriety with AS Monaco, his parents only allocated him €200 of pocket money per month. His monthly salary at the time was €85,000.

Mbappe said it was a 'dream' to join the club as he shared photos of his young self in their kit

Mbappe said it was a 'dream' to join the club as he shared photos of his young self in their kit

The Frenchman added that it was almost impossible to put his excitement into words

The Frenchman added that it was almost impossible to put his excitement into words

Mbappe shared photos of himself as a child, including this one with Cristiano Ronaldo (right)

Mbappe shared photos of himself as a child, including this one with Cristiano Ronaldo (right)

Mbappe, it has been said, 'doesn't have luxury taste'. Those are the words of his mother just a few years ago. Whether that still rings true after he reportedly purchased a £15million mansion in in the exclusive Madrid suburb of La Moraleja, once home to Gareth Bale, is a different matter.

La Moraleja, one of the most exclusive districts in the Spanish capital, is also where David and Victoria Beckham spent most of their time when the former played for the Spanish giants.

What his notoriety does bring is daily write-ups in the world's media. Front pages. Back pages. Sports pages. Showbiz pages. Mbappe is now headline news.

He featured on the front cover of TIME magazine in 2018 and more and more finds himself in gossip columns with his romantic life a source of great intrigue.

One relationship which drew plenty of headlines in 2021 was a rumoured romance with transgender model Ines Rau.

Rau, the first openly trans Playboy model, was spotted holidaying in Cannes with Mbappe in March 2022, with the pair photographed cosy in each other's arms.

But like other supposed romances - Mbappe has been linked to actress Emma Smet, French model Alicia Aylies and Belgian model Rose Bertram - the striker is fiercely private about his life off the pitch.

When, in 2022, Mbappe became godfather to two baby pandas named Huanlili and Yuandudu born at Beauval Zoo in France, you'll know. But his latest partner? Not a word.

Fans of Mbappe, starved of the minutiae of his everyday life outside of football, have found themselves clinging to any captured interactions with women.

Just last month Mbappe was seen on video doing a double take of a model - named Lea Tsatsas - at a restaurant in Cannes.

Mbappe had a rumoured romance with trans supermodel Ines Rau - but neither confirmed it

Mbappe had a rumoured romance with trans supermodel Ines Rau - but neither confirmed it

Rau, who has one million followers on Instagram, was the first trans person to have been plastered over the front pages of Playboy

Rau, who has one million followers on Instagram, was the first trans person to have been plastered over the front pages of Playboy

Alicia Aylies has also been linked romantically to the footballer
Belgian model Rose Bertram is another of his reported love interests

Models Alicia Aylies (left) and Rose Bertram (right) have also been romantically linked to him

Tsatsas, despite having her back to the camera in the video, became an overnight sensation among Mbappe's legion of fans.

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The model's Instagram page went from a modest 2,500 followers to 165,000 in a week. She now stands at 182,000. If ever the power of Mbappe is questioned, point to Tsatsas.

In Spain the pressure of being the main man at Real Madrid brings with it an unprecedented level of scrutiny, albeit it is something Mbappe, who is incredibly composed and mature for his age, will take in his stride.

His decision to pick up Bale's old abode, accompanied with 24-hour security and a large degree of privacy, should give him some respite from the avalanche of interest in every facet of his life that will only go up a notch in Spain.

Mbappe's property boasts 3,000 square meters of land which includes: eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a large kitchen, multiple living rooms, a cinema room, an indoor heated swimming pool, an outdoor pool, a gym, a sauna, a basketball course, and it even has a golf course.

It's quite the outlay for someone who supposedly doesn't like luxury tastes.

Mbappe has a US-based production company called Zebra Valley which inked a multi-year deal with the NBA. Mbappe maintains a close relationship with basketball star LeBron James (left)

Mbappe has a US-based production company called Zebra Valley which inked a multi-year deal with the NBA. Mbappe maintains a close relationship with basketball star LeBron James (left)

Mbappe (middle) has to travel with a large entourage and security detail due to his notoriety

Mbappe (middle) has to travel with a large entourage and security detail due to his notoriety

In fact, when it comes to his money, while his mother ensures he gets every penny he deserves for his world class talent, Mbappe has become renowned for his philanthropic endeavours.

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He has his own foundation for disadvantaged kids in Paris and he famously donates all of his national team match fees to charity, and refuses to endorse any brands associated with alcohol, gambling and fast food.

After donating his entire salary for France's World Cup win in 2018 - in the region of £400,000 - to a children's charity, he told TIME Magazine: 'I did not need to be paid. I was there to defend the colours of the country.

'I earn enough money – a lot of money. So I think it is important to help those who are in need.

'A lot of people are suffering... for people like us, giving a helping hand to people is not a big thing.'

What matters to Mbappe is winning, is carving his name into the history of football like the greats who have gone before him.

Mbappe will have little to no privacy in Madrid, such is his standing as the world's best player

Mbappe will have little to no privacy in Madrid, such is his standing as the world's best player

An overhead view of the luxury property Mbappe has bought in Madrid (marked by letter A)

An overhead view of the luxury property Mbappe has bought in Madrid (marked by letter A)

David and Victoria Beckham bought a mansion in the same estate as Mbappe back in 2005 when the former England captain was playing for Real Madrid

David and Victoria Beckham bought a mansion in the same estate as Mbappe back in 2005 when the former England captain was playing for Real Madrid

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'I want to be more than just the guy who shoots the ball and goes to his yacht and takes his money,' he told the New York Times back in 2022.

Being one of the greatest is clearly his biggest driver.

'Here I see some great players, great manager and a great president. It is always an honour for me to be here with you guys,' he said in his speech in Sardinia, where Mail Sport was in attendance.

'Another trophy and it's always a pleasure. I would like to say thank you to my club, my president, thank you for everything to this amazing club, the best fans in the world, a big honour to play for this club and it was an amazing season.

'We won many trophies and thank you to my team-mates, to everyone that helped me. It's part of the journey and I want to work hard to keep my name in the history of football.'

By following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, the man and player that adorned his bedroom walls on posters as a child in that Bondy tower block, it is now time for him to carve out his own history in Madrid. There is no greater stage for him to solidify his status as No 1.

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