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Chronicling Records That Neymar and Kylian Mbappe Could Break This Season

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2017

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 17: Kylian Mbappe of PSG celebrates his goal with Neymar Jr during the French Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and Olympique Lyonnais (OL) at Parc des Princes on September 17, 2017 in Paris, . (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain's already flooded talent pool was filled to bursting in the offensive third of the field this summer when they landed long-term target Neymar from Barcelona and then snared Kylian Mbappe from domestic rivals AS Monaco.

The latter, on loan with a view to buy next summer, is a long-term investment at 18 with just one full season of top-tier football to his name, but there will nonetheless be great things expected of him during his early months in Paris.

Neymar, on the other hand, is already a world-renowned star, one of the best in the world at age 25 and the focal point of PSG's attempts to finally conquer European football. Everything is expected of him, and even if he produces it, more will be demanded.

It's both players' first seasons with the Parisian side, but there are plenty of milestones and records they will already have in their sights.

             

Ligue 1

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Neymar broke one record before he even kicked a ball in a PSG shirt: the transfer record, now sitting at €222 million, or £200 million.

Mbappe has several records he can aim for, starting with his goalscoring.

Karim Benzema's 37 Ligue 1 goals by age 23 doesn't seem at all out of reach, while a bigger view—and requiring something of an explosion in his strike rate—might be Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 38 league goals in a season, a PSG record.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 21: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of PSG celebrates his second goal during the French Cup Final match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Olympique de Marseille (OM) at Stade de France on May 21, 2016 in Saint-Denis nearby Paris, France. (Photo
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

The Ligue 1 record is held by Josip Skoblar, who hit 44 for Olympique de Marseille in 1970/71.

Neymar, meanwhile, has started the season on fire in terms of creating—and it's a new team-mate whose record he has in his sights.

Angel Di Maria set a Ligue 1 record in 2015/16, tallying 18 assists; last season, 14 was the highest tally, recorded by Morgan Sanson for Montpellier HSC and Marseille.

Neymar, in his five league matches in France, already has four assists (and four goals), putting him well on track to challenge Di Maria's record.

Paris Saint-Germain @PSG_English

Angel Di Maria breaks PSG's single-season assist record https://t.co/hmEoMhUIz7 https://t.co/WHkj8fQZhs

Back to scoring goals, both Neymar and Mbappe—and team-mate Edinson Cavani—will look to equal or break the Ligue 1 record of scoring in nine consecutive games, held by Vahid Halilhodzic and Ibrahimovic. More unlikely is the record of seven goals by a single player in a single game; that record has stood since 1935, equalled only in 1938.

Meanwhile, the fastest hat-trick in the French top flight was timed at five minutes.

The duo, along with Cavani, could also help PSG achieve a club and Ligue 1 record of 108 goals in a season—Monaco's 107 last season is the record since the French top flight's rebranding in 2002.

        

Europe

The UEFA Champions League is the trophy PSG want and why they have splashed so much money on the strike pair.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Kylian Mbappe of PSG celebrates his goal with Neymar Jr during the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic Glasgow and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) at Celtic Park on September 12, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jean
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Neymar has already won the trophy with Barcelona, and the South American equivalent, the Copa Libertadores, with Santos, but repeating the feat with PSG would be vindication for his signature and strengthen his claim to be regarded as the world's best player.

One record he will hope to break is to become the first player in more than a decade not named Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d'Or. Kaka, in 2007, was the last.

There are records Neymar can have more a direct influence on, however.

Last season, he broke the Champions League record for most assists in a single campaign, ending the 2016/17 season with eight. He's capable of going on and bettering that tally this year. He has one to his name after the opening group-stage game.

Squawka Football @Squawka

Neymar in the Champions League last season: Most take-ons completed (51) Most fouls suffered (32) Most assists (8) Difficult to deal with. https://t.co/9eajuE6YDt

Then there is the top scorer in a single season record, held by Cristiano Ronaldo with 17.

Any player scoring that volume of goals to trouble Messi and Ronaldo deserves to be thought of as one of the world's best players—and his team will likely be going deep into the tournament. But even they don't hold the European competition record, which is owned by Radamel Falcao with 18.

Monaco's Colombian forward Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring his second goal during the French L1 football match Monaco (ASM) vs Strasbourg on September 16, 2017, at Louis II Stadium in Monaco. / AFP PHOTO / YANN COATSALIOU        (Photo credit shou
YANN COATSALIOU/Getty Images

For both Neymar and Mbappe, dangerous forwards with goals to their game as well as creativity, the competition's showpiece has a record waiting to be broken alongside lifting the trophy: become the first player to score a hat-trick in the final since it was rebranded in 1992.

The likes of Hernan Crespo and Karl-Heinz Riedle netted braces; the first treble is still waiting for the history books. The fastest hat-trick in Champions League history, meanwhile, is eight minutes, held by Bafetimbi Gomis.

           

International Stage

Perhaps the first record for Mbappe to look to break is one he has just over a year to do: become the youngest France player to score a hat-trick.

France's forward Kylian Mbappe reacts after missing a shot on goal during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying football match France vs Luxembourg on September 3, 2017 at the Municipal Stadium in Toulouse, southern France.   / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

The great Just Fontaine's first French treble came at age 20 against Luxembourg—the side Mbappe debuted against, incidentally. Jean Secember did it at 21. Eugene Maes was 21 as well.

Still 18 until December, Mbappe could notch a hat-trick at any point this season to take that particular title. While the side they just drew 0-0 with, Luxembourg again, might have seemed the best opportunity to do so, games against Bulgaria and Belarus present further chances for Mbappe to improve on his single international goal return before the turn of the year.

In terms of overall goals, while Mbappe isn't going to jump past the likes of Jean-Pierre Papin, Michel Platini and all-time top scorer Thierry Henry anytime soon, he could feasibly break into the all-time top 30 if he has a stellar year.

Ten international goals this season would put him joint-31st (11 goals in total). Thirty-six players have scored 10 or more at international level for France.

Brazil's forward Neymar celebrates during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match against Paraguay in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 28, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Miguel SCHINCARIOL        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP/Getty Images)
MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/Getty Images

For Neymar, the all-time goalscoring record is well within his sights, though it may take more than just the 2017/18 season to get there.

He has 52 to his name for Brazil, 25 short of Pele's record of 77. While he likely won't hit that many this season, he could score double figures across qualifiers, friendlies and the World Cup finals.

A haul of 10 would take Neymar past Romario (55) and level with the great Ronaldo (62); a further goal would elevate Neymar to second on the all-time list.

There's one more achievement, rather than outright record, Neymar could make this season, but it's more possible than probable.

The forward was previously Brazil captain, with Miranda and then Paulinho handed that honour after Neymar stepped down from the role after the 2016 Olympics. If he were to return to the role for the 2018 World Cup and lead his team to success in Russia, he'd be the second-youngest Selecao skipper to do so.

Brazil's forward Neymar celebrates after scoring against Paraguay during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 28, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / NELSON ALMEIDA        (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Imag
NELSON ALMEIDA/Getty Images

Hilderaldo Bellini (1958 World Cup) was 28, Mauro (1962) was 31, Rai (1994) was 29 and Cafu (2002) was 32, but while Neymar will turn 26 only a few months before the finals in Eastern Europe, the 1970 World Cup captain was the legendary Carlos Alberto, who was just 25.

That said, Neymar would become the first Brazil captain to lead his team to World Cup success on European soil since 1958 in Sweden, which was the side whose forward line was led by a then-17-year-old Pele.

He's already achieved so much, but it's clear there's a lot more for Neymar to aim for in the next 10 months or so—and Mbappe, alongside him, is starting out along a similar path.

         

Sources: 11v11, Statbunker, RSSSF, Transfermarkt, WorldFootball.net, WhoScored.com and UEFA.com.

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