Campos was speaking at a football event in Porto when he made these comments. “Mbappe is still only at 40 or 50 per cent of his potential, and I tell him that every day,” Campos said at the event in Porto.
“He can still give a lot more because he is a player who has not yet finished his training.
“There is the speed of maturation, that is to say that not everyone evolves at the same rate. Mbappe at 16 was already developed at all levels.
“Physically, he was very strong and had an understanding of the game worthy of a 26-year-old player.”
Campos was working at AS Monaco when Mbappe came to prominence. The Portuguese sporting director played a key role in bringing him to the forefront but Mbappe, still a teenager at the time, exceeded every expectation.
He made the France 2018 World Cup squad on the back of those impressive performances and at 19, led France to their second World Cup. He became the youngest teenager since Pelé to win the tournament while scoring in the final.
Mbappe was awarded the World Cup young player of the tournament award and also walked away with the Raymond Kopa trophy for the best young player in football in 2018. Since then, he has been in the Ballon d’Or discussions.
He could be making history like Pelé did, when he won back-to-back World Cup titles for Brazil in 1958 and 1962. Mbappe is currently the headliner of Les Bleus’ 2022 tournament squad alongside Karim Benzema, who bagged the 2022 Ballon d’Or back in October.
The decision to host the World Cup in the middle of the football season, however, continues to draw the ire of the world. Qatar’s human rights and sociopolitical standing is shaky and FIFA have come under heavy scrutiny for allowing the tournament to go on.
It also comes as an annoyance to clubs, who have had to deal with more injuries than normal which their star player picked in trying to conserve themselves for the global showpiece.
Campos, who has seen PSG deal with injuries to Presnel Kimpembe and lose a few others to the tournament in a crucial part of the season, is still of the opinion that the World Cup will be special as most players will be at the peak of their powers.
“I think it’s the biggest competition in the world, at least for me, and for the first time in history the players will be at full speed, with pace and fresher than ever,” he said.
“It will be the most intense FIFA World Cup of all time.”