Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid during the summer transfer was a sure thing – but somehow, the negotiation between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Real Madrid did not go according to the plan and for which the World Champion Kylian Mbappe had to continue playing at a club where he might not enjoy this season.
PSG have signed Lionel Messi to build a trio known as NMM (Neymar, Messi and Mbappe), but as a matter of fact, the synchronization between the superstars still have not been sound enough. Messi is found struggling to cope despite his closest friend Neymar sacrificing his position for Messi while Mbappe seems to be isolated because the combination between Neymar and Mbappe has taken a setback.
Still, Mbappe is moving on and he expressed his thoughts on various issues with L’Équipe and Jerome Rothen of RMC Sport.
Here are the excerpts:
On the PSG departure
Initially, I had asked for a period of reflection. Before the Euro, I told the club that I did not want to renew and after the Euro, I said that I wanted to leave. My ambition was really that we all walk hand in hand “Both the selling club and the buyer club and me. Make the best possible deal so that everyone benefits. I also wanted to give my club time to find a replacement. May everyone be happy and that I continue on my way.
I asked to leave because, from the moment I did not want to renew, I told the club that I wanted to leave. I wanted the club to have significant compensation for my sale so that I could sign a quality replacement. PSG is a club that has given me a lot, I have always been happy the four years that I have been here and I still am.
I announced it well in advance so that the club could turn it around. I wanted everything to go well to reach an agreement. People said I rejected six or seven renewal offers. That I did not want to talk to Leonardo anymore and that is not true. It is not for me to judge, my position was clear. I said it quite early. I wanted to leave at the end of July and that is what I said. I told them, if you don’t want me to go, I’ll stay.
Avoid going free
Besides, yes. Subsequently, the club decided not to sell me. I was fine with it. I had no problem with that; I am still in a great team and in a place where I have been happy for four years.
It’s scary when your president says ‘never go free’ When I heard that, I choked I was like ‘So what will happen here?’… And he adds, in another advance preview on Monday afternoon: “That’s why I didn’t want to react hot, because, when I hear that, I say to myself: ‘oula …’
Confrontation with PSG
No, because that would have been ungrateful. I would not have thanked a club that welcomed me at 18 and gave me a lot for four years. And then I always want to play, to show that I am a great player, that nothing affects me, not even a frustrated signing, and that I can make a difference until the last day.
Disappointed with PSG stay?
At that time, a little!
When you have the ambition to leave, if you stay, you are not happy.
But I moved on quickly. Unfortunately, I was injured in the national team. I got home fast; I had time to cry while I had no games. When I came back, I scored again and I did well.
Joining Real Madrid
Sure. Real Madrid made an offer (and even several, from € 160 to € 200 million). When I said listen, I mean other things: it was said that he had rejected six renewal offers, but it is not true.
It was said that he did not want to speak to Leonardo, while it was the president (Nasser al-Khelaïfi) who took over the entire file. They tell me to talk to the president; I’m not going to say no. They said he wanted to ruin the dressing room.
The reasons for leaving
I thought my adventure was over. I wanted something more. I had been in Ligue 1 for six or seven years. I gave everything I had to give to Paris and I think I did well.
Afterwards, everyone is free to draw whatever conclusions they want, but that was my decision. Leaving was the next logical step.
I’m attached to PSG, and if I had gone this summer, it would only have been Real Madrid.
When your president says in front of the whole world that you are not going to leave, and you are not going free … At that moment, I was a little worried; I am not going to lie to you. I said to myself: if I don’t go out free, what’s going to happen? Then we took some sanity and told each other that this is their way of showing their attachment. It means that the club likes me and they didn’t want to let me go.
I stayed and I’m very happy. At no point in the season will you see behaviour like You didn’t let me go, I’m going to lift my foot. I like football too much and I have too much respect for the club, and for me, enough to lift my foot even if it is just a game.
And as for my situation, for a month and a half, two months, there is no more discussion about a renewal, since I said that I wanted to go.
Departure next summer
I’ve been in football long enough to know that the truth of yesterday is not the truth of today or tomorrow. If they had told me that Messi would play for PSG, I would not have believed it. So we don’t know what can happen”.
How PSG can retain him
We are far from that, as I wanted to leave this summer. I will not be a hypocrite. This summer, my ambition was clear, I wanted to leave and put the club in the best conditions to ensure my replacement. Currently, my future is not my priority. I already wasted a lot of energy this summer and it was exhausting.
If it was worth staying with Messi
No, because I never made my decisions on a whim.
I had made my decision and it was well considered.
The arrival of signings like Messi
I have always said that I wanted to play with great players, so this year I am served. When you play with great players, you have to make concessions.
You are no longer the only great player. You are no longer alone; you are you and the rest!
New role next to Messi
No problem, it’s an established hierarchy. I agree to run when Messi is walking, no problem! It’s Messi, anyway!
The Signing of Messi
I never imagined him coming here! He is one of the few players that I put on a poster saying impossible for me to play with him.
For me, he was never going to leave Barcelona. I savour every moment with him. We must never forget that it is still a privilege. He is someone who loves football. He talks to everyone; he tries to fit in his own way, even if he is a little shy.
But on the field, he is not shy. With Neymar, it was something similar when he arrived. It was extraordinary. But Messi is something else. It is incredible to think that the only other shirt he wears, besides the Barcelona one, is the PSG one. We have to realize that this is something extraordinary.
Angry with Neymar?
Yes, yes, I said it. Now, these are things that happen all the time in football. There just doesn’t have to be something left. So, immediately after, given the repercussion, I talked about it with him. We have exchanged many words like this in the past and it will continue because we want to win, but there should be no resentment.
There is none because I respect the player and the man and I admire what he is. But now, I was not happy with a pass. One day It happened to me too, I did it, it didn’t happen and I wasn’t happy. But no problem!