Football

Mbappe is testing the pride of PSG

12 Th1 2022 | 14:55

The reputation and position of the French capital team will be hurt if they cannot keep Kylian Mbappe in the near future.

PSG looks like a dream team to many players, with the exception of Mbappe at the moment. The French striker repeatedly refused new contract offers from the team’s leadership.

As 2022 begins, there is no indication that the 23-year-old striker will stay. PSG do not give up their intention to keep Mbappe for next season, but hopes of convincing this player are dwindling.

When the 2021/22 season began, Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi lamented that he did not understand what he and the club leadership had to do to convince Mbappe to sign a new contract.

PSG is not short of money. They have too much ambition and even successfully recruited Lionel Messi, who asserted the best position in the world with the 7th Golden Ball in his career.

The fact that PSG cannot keep Mbappe, even though this club thinks they have entered a new stage of development, says a lot. Even if there is Messi or Neymar in the squad and the team has just reached the Champions League final in 2020, PSG does not seem to be able to have the aura and attraction like Real Madrid.

It is difficult for PSG to keep Mbappe when the current contract between the two sides expires in June 2022. Photo: Reuters.

It is difficult for PSG to keep Mbappe when the current contract between the two sides expires in June 2022. Photo: Reuters.

Mbappe’s dream

“Je M’Appelle Kylian” is the title of Mbappe’s comic book that was just published in November last year. In that work, the French boy did not hide his desire to play for Real Madrid since childhood.

Despite being a symbol of PSG, in the comic book about his life, Mbappe even sketched the image of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane visiting him in a dream.

In that dream, Ronaldo and Mbappe made souvenirs, then Zidane came to give him a pure white Real Madrid kit. In real life, at the age of 14, Mbappe was also invited to Madrid, an experience he once described as “the best thing in his life”.

When Mbappe was about to move to PSG from Monaco for 180 million euros (also a record at the time), the French striker’s mother asked if he was sure of his choice.

“Did you know that Real Madrid still wants to sign you,” asked Fayza Lamari. “Continuing to play football in Ligue 1 won’t make you bored, will it?”

Monaco president, Dmitry Rybolovlev, said that since he started playing football, he has rarely seen a player mature so early and set a specific direction for himself in his twenties like Mbappe. “He will eventually go to Real Madrid,” the Russian billionaire revealed in 2020.

Mbappe once turned down Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid and many other clubs in Europe to choose Monaco as a place to start his career. And PSG at the time of 2017 seems to be another stepping stone for the French striker’s ambition to rise to the star ranks.

Half a decade later, however, Qatari bosses can proudly say that times have changed. Cristiano Ronaldo, Mbappe’s big idol, leaves Real Madrid. The Royal Spanish Club fell into an economic crisis because of the pandemic.

“Los Blancos” did not buy a player for more than a hundred million euros in the past two seasons. At the time of 2017, who thought Lionel Messi would leave Barca to join PSG in the summer of 2021?

Just a few months before Messi arrived at PSG, European football wobbled with Super League projects from the leaders of Real Madrid, Barca, Man United or Juventus. The most important reason for the appearance of the Super League lies in the fact that the old powers of European football fell into financial crisis. They want to split the pie and create a new playing field to increase profits.

PSG is out of that spiral. The French club is not short of money. In the summer of 2021, they recruited the biggest stars from Gianluigi Donnarumma, Messi to Sergio Ramos. If Mbappe really leaves PSG in the future, the reputation of the French club will be hurt.

The experience of coming to Real Madrid at the age of 14 made Mbappe unforgettable. Photo: Reuters.

The experience of coming to Real Madrid at the age of 14 made Mbappe unforgettable. Photo: Reuters.

The PSG paradox

When Ronaldo left Manchester United in the summer of 2009, the Portuguese player has the right to say that Real Madrid is still a more attractive destination than the “Red Devils” both professionally and financially. In Madrid, Ronaldo received the highest salary in the world and was surrounded by Kaka, Iker Casillas, Ramos,… the best stars in the world in his position at that time.

When Luis Suarez left Liverpool for Barcelona, ​​the Uruguayan striker had the right to say that “The Kop” at that time was still in a lower position than the Camp Nou team. Like Ronaldo, Suarez later also proved his decision to leave was right, when he reached the pinnacle of his career by winning the Champions League.

Mbappe’s case is different. In the past two seasons, PSG once reached the Champions League final, the other time was the semi-final of the No. 1 European club tournament. With Real Madrid, since Ronaldo left, they are no longer a top candidate for the Champions League.

In two of the last three seasons, “Los Blancos” was eliminated early from the round of 16. This season, bookmakers rate Real Madrid’s championship ability even lower than Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea or Bayern Munich. Meanwhile, PSG is considered the best candidate for the Champions League 2021/22 championship.

Mbappe’s determination to leave PSG at first glance seems like a paradox. If he stays, the French striker will be the highest-paid player in the world.

PSG see Mbappe as a symbol of the club in the future. He is even more favored in terms of status than Neymar, who is about to turn 30, and Messi, the 34-year-old player who has revealed his intention to return to Barca.

However, Mbappe has a reason to leave PSG. Since the success in the 2018 World Cup, the French striker has not had any more outstanding marks to compete for individual titles.

Ligue 1 does not seem to be the stage with enough weight for Mbappe to compete for the Ballon d’Or race. In the past three decades, no player playing in Ligue 1 has reached the top 3 of the Ballon d’Or. The last person to do this was Jean-Pierre Papin, when the French striker won the “Ballon d’Or” in 1991.

Mbappe’s grimace when he was named at the Ballon d’Or 2021 award ceremony says a lot. PSG’s striker only finished 9th in the Golden Ball race last year. Mbappe never made it to the top 3 in the “Ballon d’Or” race.

In 2017, Mbappe ranked 7th in the race for the Golden Ball. The French striker finished 4th in the 2018 Golden Ball race. In 2019, this star ranked 6th.

Mbappe needs a new environment to improve himself. La Liga and Real Madrid will create a new turning point for the career of the striker born in 1998. Of course, it will be a pain for the Qatari owners. As Khelaifi once said, what more does PSG have to do to make Mbappe stay?