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Kylian Mbappe: There will never be another Cristiano Ronaldo

French forward Kylian Mbappe aspires to be unique at Real Madrid but not seen as the heir to the Bernabeu's former iconic player Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portugal forward spent nine years in the Spanish capital, breaking all kinds of records before his departure in 2018, and the arrival of Mbappe this summer is viewed in the same bracket in terms of a high-profile player signing at his peak.

Mbappe insists he respects but does not envy Ronaldo's achievements but wants to create his own history for club and country as the pair prepare to meet each other in the Euro 2024 quarter-final in Hamburg.

"I think it is about appreciation rather than envy, what he was, what he is," said Mbappe.

"I like to admire the great player, there will never be another Cristiano Ronaldo. He has shaped football and has inspired generations.

"I am following my own path; my dream of playing at Real Madrid is becoming a reality but I'm not going to write the next chapter of Cristiano's story.

"I hope I will be one of a kind at Real Madrid but it will be different.

"His CV speaks for itself and I have total respect for him but I hope tomorrow he is not as happy as it is us going to the semi-finals."

Coach Didier Deschamps dismissed the criticism which has been directed at the 39-year-old Ronaldo after some underwhelming performances in the tournament.

"He has always been a threat because he has the ability and the motivation within him," he said.

"He is a little older but he is still a highly-influential player."

Portugal coach Roberto Martinez and midfielder Bernardo Silva both dismissed the criticism levelled at their side after the underwhelming penalty shootout win over Slovenia.

"Criticism is part of the job description. Eighteen months on (from his appointment) I think criticism shows how passionate people are about the national team and I accept that," said Martinez.

"I think we run a lot of risks. There are a lot of stats which show our team is getting there — but it's true we need to score the chances we get."

Silva was more outspoken about claims Portugal are not adventurous enough, although he admitted it had not been a great experience for fans.

"When it comes to June for a World Cup or the Euros everyone thinks they are a manager," he said.

"I don't agree when you say we've not been playing at a good enough level. We are one of the best eight teams in Europe — in order to reach the quarter-finals it means we have worked properly.

"It may not be much of a display for the people at home but we have been doing an amazing job, otherwise we wouldn't be here in the quarter-finals."

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