Now 19, he is a starting forward for the French national team with a quarter-final match against Uruguay on Friday. As of last Sunday, he officially joined the club team Paris-Saint Germain for a fee of $217 million, which is the second highest fee of all time; the record is held by his clubmate Neymar. He spent the last season there on loan from AS Monaco in an agreement that contained a clause allowing PSG to permanently sign him to their roster.
"For a player so untested that figure seemed extraordinary when it was agreed, but it is increasingly coming to look like a bargain,” reports the Guardian.
Mbappe proved himself this month at the World Cup. During his performance against Argentina, he earned France an early penalty kick after an impressive burst of speed — in order to stop his 60-yard sprint with the ball, the Argentinian defense resorted to dragging him down in the box. He later scored twice, becoming the first teenager to net multiple goals in the World Cup knock out stages since Pele in 1958.
France won the game 4 to 3, eliminating five-time Ballon D'Or winner Lionel Messi from the tournament.
Mbappe has also impressed at the club level. He contributed 13 goals and seven assists in just 28 League 1 appearances, helping PSG clinch the title.
His hometown of Bondy is one of the French banlieues, or "places with large, working-class, nonwhite communities, synonymous with riots and social strife, thought of as breeding grounds for crime and terrorism," as the New York Times puts it.
Emerging from the banlieues and finding success is considered no easy feat. But on the current French national team, there are eight players from the banlieues, including Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi. Young people in the region celebrate their stories and dream of following in their footsteps. In Bondy, a giant mural of Mbappe looks down from the wall of an old apartment block.