After winning the World Cup, Kylian Mbappe turned down a free transfer to Real Madrid in order to stay at Paris Saint-Germain.
The details of the private talk between French president Emmanuel Macron and Kylian Mbappe, before the Paris Saint-Germain star rejected a move to Real Madrid, have been revealed.
Mbappe had been strongly linked with a move to Madrid for well over a year before PSG shocked the world by announcing a new three-year contract for the 23-year-old on May 21.
He tried to persuade Mbappe to remain in his country, and Macron was a key figure in the process. The president has now confirmed that he contacted World Cup winner Mbappe to “defend the homeland.”
“I talked to Kylian a few times, always discreetly because it’s his private life,” Macron said in an interview with L’Equipe.
“I tried to see him like all the fans who love this sport and who see in him one of the best players in the world.
“But I also tried to tell him that he had a responsibility towards the young people of our country, that he is an example.
“I told him that it was up to him to make sure that, when young people from the suburbs see Kylian Mbappé on a poster at the Bernabeu or any other stadium, they say to themselves: ‘If he did it, I can do it too’.
“I think that’s what he understood.”
Mbappe’s relationship with President Macron
Mbappe has a close relationship with Macron, and the pair met up for dinner in Paris just days after the World Cup winner decided to sign a new deal with PSG.
The 23-year-old is currently in Qatar with the rest of Thomas Tuchel’s squad as they prepare for the delayed 2020-21 season, which is due to get underway in August.
PSG will be looking to win the Champions League for the first time in their history this term, and Mbappe will undoubtedly be key to their hopes of finally lifting Europe’s biggest prize.
Macron’s comments about Mbappe’s responsibility to young people in France is sure to resonate with the striker, who has often spoken about his desire to act as a role model.
“I want to be an example, especially for the youngsters following me,” Mbappe said after signing his new PSG contract.
“It’s also one of the reasons that led me to sign this new deal with Paris, to stay here for as long as possible.
“I hope to win everything with this club, especially the Champions League.”
How President Macron sees Mbappe
“It is my responsibility to advise Mbappe,” Macron said. “He is widely recognized as the most talented player of his generation, and he is a major boon to Ligue 1.”
“Yes, it’s true that I had a chat with Kylian Mbappe before he made his final decision,” said Macron during a news conference.
“I just advised him, in a very informal way, to stay in France,” she says. “I feel it is my duty as president to defend the country when asked in a friendly and informal manner.”
“It’s because I have never made a transfer,” he explained. “Like any other citizen, when it comes to sporting events, I always want to see a good game and support my team, particularly Olympique de Marseille.”
Macron’s comments come as Mbappe is being linked with a move away from PSG, with both Real Madrid and Liverpool said to be interested in signing the World Cup winner.
However, it remains to be seen whether Mbappe will heed Macron’s advice and remain in France or opt to move to one of the European heavyweights.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was also in attendance at Macron’s dinner with Mbappe, and he too spoke about the importance of the striker’s decision to stay in Paris.
“It was a very important moment for the club, but also for Kylian,” Al-Khelaifi told L’Equipe.
“He is one of the symbols of Paris Saint-Germain, he is French and he loves this club.
“I am very proud that he chose to stay with us.”
Mbappe’s decision to sign a new deal with PSG has ended any possibility of him joining Madrid this summer, but the Blancos are sure to come back for the striker in the future.
The 23-year-old will have just two years remaining on his contract at the end of next season, and Madrid are likely to make another attempt to sign him then.
For now, though, Mbappe is happy in Paris and looks set to spearhead PSG’s push for Champions League glory this season.
Macron on Champions League final chaos
On the subject of such incidents, as shown on video and photographs, during which people attacked each other with bats outside the Stade de France ahead of last month’s Champions League title game between Real Madrid and Liverpool, Macron said: “As far as I’m concerned, it’s not acceptable.”
Some Liverpool fans were attacked by thugs and had to seek refuge in a McDonald’s restaurant.
“I’m very angry about what happened before the Champions League final,” Macron said. “It’s unacceptable. We need to take action.”
Macron also called for an end to the violence that has plagued French football in recent years.
“Football is a sport that should bring people together, not divide them,” he said. “We need to put an end to the violence.”
The start of the showpiece event, which Madrid won to extend their European Cup win streak to 14, was delayed by 30 minutes owing to supporters crowding into the venue without tickets, with authorities deploying tear gas and pepper spray on a large number of fans still behind the barriers despite having valid passes.
The European football governing body, UEFA, has apologised for the mayhem, and Macron has promised that he will seek to reveal the truth behind it.
Mbappe has a huge influence on PSG, and the club will not let him leave easily. If he wants to stay, they will make it happen.
It is reported that Mbappe has already spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron about his future with the club. It is clear that he wants to stay put and help PSG win more trophies.
Mbappe is one of the most talented young players in the world, and it would be a shame to see him leave Paris. Hopefully, he can stay with the club for many years to come.