Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho has revealed what Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe told him when the pair met in the UEFA Champions League last-16 earlier this season.
Sancho helped Dortmund beat 2019/20 Champions League finalists PSG 2-1, only for the Ligue 1 champions to prevail 2-0 in Paris and advance on aggregate. Despite the result, the 20-year-old remains a big fan of the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner.
"I spoke to him after the game," Sancho told SoccerBible, following the release of his signature collection with Nike. "We had a little conversation after the game, he said to me 'you're doing really well, keep it up and you'll get far'. It was nice to have that conversation with him.
"He's done a lot when you consider his age. He's won the World Cup, he's won the league with PSG and Monaco and so you have to respect him in so many ways. He kind of carried France in the World Cup, which was crazy. Seeing someone that young doing great things like that, it motivates me and was crazy to see."
Sancho also expressed his admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo, highlighting the similarities between his own and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's career path.
The now England international was only 17 when he left Manchester City's youth system for Dortmund, while Madeira-born Ronaldo started out in Portugal with Sporting Lisbon, before switching to Manchester United as an 18-year-old.
"He's had a fantastic career," Sancho said of the Juventus forward. "He had to grow up fast, just like me. The way he left his home at a young age, and couldn’t speak English at the time: he adapted so fast - and see where he is now, one of the best players who has ever lived. So to be alongside these people, hopefully I can have a great career like Ronaldo."
Sancho is on the right path. In his two-and-a-half short seasons as a Dortmund player, the London native has registered some 30 goals and 34 assists in 78 Bundesliga games. He's also scored four and chipped in with five assists in cup competition, whilst collecting a DFL Supercup winner's medal and 11 senior England caps.
Following successive runners-up finishes in his first two full campaigns of Bundesliga football, he is hoping to go one better with BVB in 2020/21.
"I'm focused on training and getting better each day," he affirmed. "I want to achieve something big!"
Watch: All of Jadon Sancho's Bundesliga goals and assists in 2019/20
Sancho, who has a contract with Dortmund until summer 2023, could make his 100th competitive appearance for the Black-Yellows when they face third-tier Duisburg in the DFB Cup first round on 14 September.