Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar: Youngest National Team Captains After Kylian Mbappe's Appointment

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar: Youngest National Team Captains After Kylian Mbappe's Appointment

Martin Moses
  • Kylian Mbappe has now etched his name among the youngest ever national team captains
  • Mbappe was selected ahead of Antoine Griezmann to replace Hugo Lloris
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Lionel Messi make up the list of youngest ever captains

Kylian Mbappe made history as the youngest French captain ever when Didier Deschamps confirmed he will take over from Hugo Lloris on a permanent basis.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has been on an impressive trajectory ever since he made his debut a couple of years back. At 24 years, he is now set to lead an embarrassing pool of talent into a new era for a very long time.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe
France's new captain Kylian Mbappe takes part in a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines on March 21, 2023. Photo by Franck Fife.
Source: Getty Images

Before Mbappe, other young national team captains came before him. Sports Brief takes a look at some of the youngest captains in history.

1. Julian Draxler - 20 years

Often thought to be next bright German talent, Draxler took charge of the team in a goalless draw against Poland in what was his 11th cap.

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Sports Brief has previously documented how the attacking midfielder failed to live up to the heights expected of him.

2. Raphael Varane - 21 years

Had Varane decided not to retire after the Qatar World Cup, he would have been the new France captain. The centre-back was often second in command to Lloris.

He had however led Les Bleus at the tender age of 21. To make it even better, he scored the only goal of the game as they beat Sweden 1-0.

3. Neymar - 22 years

As the scripts often go, the talented stars are often picked for captaincy duties. Neymar first had a feel of the armband at 22 years.

He held the armband for a few more games before Brazil adopted a rotational format. He was the captain when Brazil won the Olympic Gold in 2016.

At the Qatar World Cup, the captaincy was handed back fulltime to veteran defender Thiago Silva.

4. Michael Owen - 22 years

One of England's best-ever products was awarded the captaincy in David Beckham's absence in 2002, a year after he had won the Ballon d'Or.

5. Cristiano Ronaldo - 22 years

The Portuguese star was first made captain in 2007 before being handed the role on fulltime basis a year later.

He has since led his country to the Euro Championships in 2016 and the UEFA Nations League in 2018.

6. Lionel Messi - 24 years

Where Ronaldo is, Messi has to feature. The Argentine wizard was made captain at the same age as Mbappe.

It took quite some time for him to lead the nation to success, but he has since landed three international trophies.

Problems in French camp

Sports Brief had earlier reported that a potential storm is brewing in the French camp, with Antoine Griezmann reportedly reconsidering his future with the national team.

Griezmann is said to be upset by Didier Deschamps' decision to pick Kylian Mbappe as the new national team captain.

The Atletico Madrid star has worn the armband on several occasions in the past in Lloris' absence and at 32 years, it could have made more logical sense to have him ahead of Mbappe.