'It was easier to go to Madrid' - Mbappe explains decision to snub Real and stay at PSG
- World Cup winner ran down contract
- Was expected to move to the Bernabeu
- Ended up signing fresh terms in Paris
WHAT HAPPENED? The World Cup-winning forward generated seemingly endless speculation when running down his contract at Paris Saint-Germain in 2021-22, with many considering it to be only a matter of time before a switch to Real Madrid was confirmed. Mbappe was, however, to shun interest from the Santiago Bernabeu in favour of signing a new contract in France, with the 23-year-old convinced that he made the right call at this stage of his career.
WHAT THEY SAID: Mbappe has told Sports Illustrated: “I always talk about my ambition, what I want to do, and now it’s time. In Paris, the book is fully white. What an opportunity! You have to think differently. Of course, it was easier to go to Madrid. But I have this ambition. I’m French. I’m a child of Paris, and to win in Paris, it’s something really special—really special. It writes your name in the history of your country for life. You can stay here to have success. For us it’s a big message, because when I announced I stay, a lot of things change in the mentality of people. People start to say, ‘Yeah, we don’t need to go out. You don’t need to leave the country’.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rumours continue to suggest that Mbappe will be Madrid-bound at some stage, with more questions being asked of how settled he is at Parc des Princes during the current campaign. He is, however, tied to terms through to 2025 and would not come cheap were transfer discussions to be held.
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WHAT NEXT? Mbappe, who joined PSG in the same summer as Neymar back in 2017, has hit 189 goals for his current employers through 236 appearances – helping them to four Ligue 1 titles – and is about to chase down a second World Cup crown with the France national side in Qatar.