The midfielder has been impressed with his former Monaco team-mate and believes he can be the world’s best player in the near future
Bernardo Silva has backed Kylian Mbappe to win the Ballon d’Or, but does not think he will lift the trophy this year.
The 19-year-old is shortlisted for the award having helped France win the World Cup, completing a terrific season where he also won a domestic treble with PSG.
Mbappe scored 21 goals in his first season for the French capital club, having initially moved on loan from Monaco before completing a permanent switch this summer.
Manchester City’s Silva played alongside the France forward at Monaco and always knew Mbappe was destined for greatness. However, he has been surprised at how quickly the teenager has developed.
“Nobody knew that he was going to do what has done as quickly as he has done it,” Silva told Canal Football Club.
“From the first training session with him, you could see how he touched the ball, how he went past defenders. You could see he was a different player.
“His first important match was against Manchester City, I think people will remember that game.”
Silva believes that Mbappe was one of the main reasons France won the World Cup this year and has tipped him to win the Ballon d’Or, but feels this year may be too soon for the young attacker with Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way after guiding Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League.
“He won the World Cup, he was maybe the best French player,” Silva continued.
“I don’t think he will win the Ballon d’Or this year, but in a few years. I think it will be either Modric or Cristiano.”
Silva and Mbappe are just two of the big names to leave Monaco in recent years, with Benjamin Mendy, Fabinho, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Thomas Lemar also departing the south coast of France. Silva looks back fondly on that squad and thinks they could have won the Champions League had they kept the talent together.
“For fans, it is annoying to always see your players leave,” he said. “In France, it is not always easy to keep your players, because the players are always going to want to try different things.
“Ben [Mendy] is here, Fabinho is playing at Liverpool, Bakayoko was at Chelsea, now at AC Milan, Lemar at Atletico. We said that if we kept the team together as it was at Monaco for two or three years we always said that we could win the Champions’ League.”