Kylian Mbappe reaches scoring landmark faster than Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi & Neymar

Kylian Mbappe has been studying Cristiano Ronaldo since he was six years old.

As a kid in Bondy with big ambitions, Mbappe would scrutinise Ronaldo’s post-match interviews, taking note of the questions that he faced before coming up with his own answers for an imaginary interviewer. The practice has proven invaluable.

A squall of microphones were jammed in front of Mbappe once again after he captained France to a 14-0 drubbing of Gibraltar during November’s international break. It’s easy to get lost in the records that France sent tumbling with that humbling – spare a thought for Warren Zaire-Emery, who became his nation’s youngest scoring debutant at 17 but limped off with an injury while it was only 3-0 – but Mbappe reached a particularly notable high watermark.

Mbappe‘s hat-trick, sealed with an outrageous long-distance lob to make it 12-0, took the Paris Saint-Germain forward to 300 career goals for club and country. Such a landmark haul is worthy of note whatever the circumstance but when compared with the modern game’s elite, Mbappe’s tally is even more impressive.


Date of 300th goal



Kylian Mbappe

18 November 2023


24 years and 333 days

Lionel Messi

27 October 2012


25 years and 125 days

Cristiano Ronaldo

5 May 2012


27 years and 90 days


12 January 2020


27 years and 341 days

None of Ronaldo, Lionel Messi nor Neymar had scored 300 career goals before turning 25, a feat Mbappe achieved against Gibraltar (per Opta).

Mbappe would have been 13 when Ronaldo lined up before the cameras after bagging the 300th goal of his career in 2012. By that time, Ronaldo was 27 and had already amassed 554 games for Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Portugal.

Ronaldo‘s evolution from a step-over merchant into a scoring mercenary delayed his charge to three centuries. It took Ronaldo 301 games to score his first 100 goals, but only 96 to take his tally from 200 to 300. Mbappe modelled himself on the ruthless iteration of the Portuguese forward, which helps explain his rapid ascent to such a milestone.

Messi famously became Barcelona’s all-time top scorer before he turned 25 but didn’t quite reach 300 goals until after celebrating his quarter-century. Somehow, the Argentine was able to keep a straight face when claiming: “I’m not a natural scorer.”

Mbappe may have hailed Messi as “the best in history” after missing out on the 2023 Ballon d’Or to his former teammate but he has reached 300 goals at a younger age and in fewer games than the ultimate record breaker.

While both Neymar and Mbappe clearly possessed immense respect for Messi, their relationship at PSG was far more complex. As Mbappe admitted, there were “warmer and colder” moments.

In the game where Neymar notched his triple century, Mbappe won the penalty which the Brazilian converted to score goal number 301. This was at one of the warmest spells of the partnership, as Mbappe and Neymar fired Thomas Tuchel’s PSG to the final of the Champions League that year. Yet, neither prolific forward was able to find a way past Bayern Munich in the 2020 showpiece, the one trophy that continues to elude Mbappe.

Erling HaalandErling Haaland

Erling Haaland is Mbappe’s main contender for future goal records / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

If Ronaldo and Messi‘s tiresome rivalry dominated the 2010s, there is every chance that Mbappe’s imagined enmity with Erling Haaland will plague the current decade. Manchester City’s prolific striker is 17 months younger than Mbappe but already boasts 231 goals from his first 282 career appearances.

Since the summer of 2019, Haaland has scored a simply outrageous 206 goals in 209 games. Assuming he maintains this staggering rate and avoids any serious injury, Haaland should have just enough games to hit the big three-oh-oh before he turns 25 in July 2025, especially if City continue to reach the latter stages of every competition they enter.

However, even if Haaland surpasses Mbappe’s feat, he won’t be overly fussed. “I never talk about myself being against other players, it’s not my way of seeing things,” the Norwegian forward explained earlier this year. “I focus on myself, I only try to be better every day, to continue enjoying what I do and being the best version of myself.”


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