Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, has described teammate Kylian Mbappe as a phenomenon — and with good reason.
The teenager, winner of the Golden Boy award as France won the World Cup in Russia, scored four goals in 13 second-half minutes Sunday as Paris Saint-Germain thrashed Lyon 5-0 in Ligue 1.
Mbappe, 19, has now scored 10 goals, along with four assists, in his first seven matches this season, so it is no wonder Neymar told reporters after the match: “Kylian is a special guy, for whom I have a lot of affection. For me he’s a phenomenon. I hope it will continue like that for several years because football will thank him.”
The teenager won the penalty for Nemyar in PSG’s opener and then went on to start his scoring rout from the 61st minute onwards.
PSG manager Thomas Tuchel told reporters that Mbappe “could have scored five, six or seven.”
The win maintained league leaders PSG’s 100% start to the league — no team in the history of France’s top flight has won all nine of its opening league matches — and the Parisian outfit now enjoys an eight-point lead over nearest challengers Lille in second.
Messi scores but Barca still searching for win
Lionel Messi was on target again for Barcelona, but the Argentine superstar’s equalizer in a 1-1 draw against Valencia was not enough to return the Catalans to the top of La Liga.
Barcelona enjoyed 75% of possession, but are now without a league win in four matches and drop to second in the league, trailing leaders Sevilla by a point.
At least Barca will take some solace from the fact rival Real Madrid is also struggling.
Real’s winless run also extended to four games as Julen Lopetegui’s side fell to a 1-0 defeat to Alaves Saturday — Real’s third loss in four matches.
Hamilton closing in on greatness
“Hamilton’s in a league of his own,” proclaimed British newspaper The Daily Mail, while The Times’ headline was: “Hamilton takes a giant leap towards greatness.”
“I loved it! I’m very, very happy,” said Hamilton, who is now within 20 wins of Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 GP victories.
Six weeks ago Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel were in the driving seat, but the Mercedes driver goes into the US Grand Prix in Austin on October 21 knowing that he could retain his world title if he scores eight more points than nearest challenger Vettel.
Suzuka all but ended Vettel’s title hopes as the Ferrari driver finished sixth, his coming together with Max Verstappen proving costly as he spun to the back of the field before recovering.
Reid takes the knee during anthem
The 26-year-old, who has filed a grievance against the NFL, was back on the field for the first time in nine months after signing with the Panthers on September 27.
After the Panthers 33-31 win, Reid told reporters: “People who don’t want things to change, people who want to maintain the status quo … they have to subvert. They have to distract. They have to redirect from what we’re trying to accomplish. We have to stay strong. We have to stay diligent.”
The big Ballon d’Or unveil
Monday is the day the 30-man list of nominees for the Ballon d’Or — a prestigious award given to the best player of the year — will be unveiled.
Five in the shortlist have already been announced, with Real Madrid duo Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, Liverpool’s Alisson and PSG’s Edinson Cavani among the contenders.
Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored at the weekend as Juve maintained its 100% start in Serie A, won last year’s award.