Kylian Mbappé, the 19-year-old forward who just helped France win the 2018 World Cup, has been described as many things.
His dart-like dribbling and electric pace have been likened to former France striker Thierry Henry, his goalscoring instincts bear similarities to former Brazil striker Ronaldo, and his heroics at the Russian-run World Cup prompted comparisons to Pelé, the three-time World Cup winner with Brazil.
But today, there is a new one. Today, Mbappé has been called "a young alien" by his France teammate Raphaël Varane during an interview with French publication L'Equipe, according to Goal.com.
Not a cute, cuddly kind of alien from Steven Spielberg's 1982 hit movie "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" — no. Judging by the way Varane describes it, Mbappé is more like the evil fictional Borg species from the long-running TV series "Star Trek."
For those unaccustomed to the Borg, they are amongst the most despicable aliens in the entire Star Trek universe and are on a quest to "assimilate" all new information, tech, and species they come into contact with, turning everyone into drones and communicating in a hive mind. Like bees. Big, scary, space-faring bees.
In a weird way, the comparison kind of makes sense.
"I have known some aliens," Varane said. "I think this is the first time I have met a young alien. Normally I meet extraterrestrials when they are 25, 30 years old. At the World Cup, I met one under the age of 20.
"With him, everything goes faster. When I talk tactically with him before the matches, I do not have time to finish my sentences before he has already understood and assimilated what I'm saying."
The word "assimilated" is key here as, when we're talking about fictional aliens, the species who assimilate better than all others are the Borg.
Like the Borg, Mbappé has an other-worldly ability to consume knowledge at a rate far superior to humans. Mbappé, according to Varane, can then utilise that tactical understanding to his advantage on the soccer pitch — much like he did throughout his rise to fame, as a fleet-footed AS Monaco forward in Ligue 1 to a multi-millionaire athlete at Paris Saint-Germain, and a World Cup winner with France.
In "Star Trek," the Borg would not stop until they conquered the universe, but Mbappé will have to settle for conquering the world.
Receive a single email every morning with all our latest news: Sign up here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa: