Wenger: Mbappe will be world’s best in Paris or Madrid

Arsene Wenger believed Kylian Mbappe will develop into the best player in the world wherever he plays his football.

The former Arsenal manager doesn’t think it matters whether his compatriot stays in Paris or moves elsewhere, he is destined for the very top.

“Kylian will be one of the best in the world,” Wenger told Le Parisien.

“As he matures he will move centrally… especially with age, his efficiency will increase.

“Whether it’s in Paris or Madrid or… How many Ballon d’Ors will he win? I want to know.”

Wenger also spoke about moves to expand the World Cup and suggested that 48 teams isn’t really as many as it seems.

“[A 48-team World Cup in 2026] sounds crazy, yes, but when you think of it as a percentage, you realise it is reasonable,” Wenger said.

“There are 211 countries affiliated to FIFA and 48 will play the World Cup, which is 25 percent.

“UEFA has 55 members and the European Championship has 24 teams, or 45 percent.”

The Frenchman pointed out that qualification must seem more attainable or some nations will have little incentive to invest in the game, while dismissing suggestions that more teams means a less exciting event.

“The national team is the only real motivation for a country to invest in changing its football structure, raising its level and developing the game,” Wenger explained.

“I think it really depends how you organise the tournament.

“If you start with 16 groups of three teams then you get to knockout games quickly and the general level would grow quickly.”

Wenger, who is FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, indicated that there may be more moves to outlaw heading, particularly in youth football, as has already happened in some countries.

“At FIFA we are very mindful of heading and the damage it can cause,” Wenger noted.

“We should gradually limit the time spent on heading in training and ban it for children.

“We’ll need to think of clear rules to govern aerial play.”

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