2018 FIFA World Cup: Mbappe exemplifies African diaspora in France
Updated 11:39, 03-Jul-2018
Some fans are referring to France as "Africa's sixth team" at this World Cup. That's because nine players on the squad were either born on the continent, or have parents who were. The breakout star so far for the French is Kylian Mbappé, who has a Cameroonian father and an Algerian mother, and grew up in the Paris suburb of Bondy, where Elena Casas went to learn more about his journey to the international stage.
The Paris suburb of Bondy is known for its high unemployment rate and diversity, a third of the population here were born outside France. They include the parents of France striker Kylian Mbappé, his father is from Cameroon and his mother from Algeria. Their son stood out on the pitch from an early age.
JEAN-FRANCOIS SUNER AC BONDY GENERAL MANAGER "I worked with his father for 25 years, and anyway they lived right behind the stadium, so he was on the pitch with a ball when he was four. We all saw that he was different, all the coaching staff, he was already impressive when he started in the youth league at six."
From the block of flats Mbappé grew up in, you can see the goal here.
ELENA CASAS PARIS "This is where Kylian Mbappé scored his first goals, on this pitch at AC Bondy, now he's become the youngest player to ever score for France in a World Cup."
The coaching team here couldn't be prouder.
ANTONIO RICCARDI AC BONDY U13 & U15 COACH "I knew he would be a professional. I never doubted he had the quality to play for France, and then what's impressive is the speed, it's all happened for him."
Mbappé turned professional at Monaco when he was 16, and is still only 19, he wasn't even born when France last won the World Cup. Paris' rundown suburbs are an increasingly popular hunting ground for the big clubs. Here in Bondy, talent scouts from Ligue 1, and even English Premier League teams are here most weekends of the season.
"I think it's the people we have here, the diversity helps, but all the kids here, even at primary school, always have a ball at their feet."
These young players will be cheering on the boy from Bondy as Les Bleus head to the second round and dreaming they could be the next Kylian Mbappé. Elena Casas,