At PSG, Kylian Mbappé is already more than just a player

Kylian Mbappe

What if Paris-Saint-future Germain’s sports ambition could be summed up in a single sentence on a white T-shirt? “Kylian is Paris” was written on the one Kylian Mbappé wore on Saturday, May 21 at the Parc des Princes, as he announced his three-year contract extension. These four phrases encapsulate his unshakeable bond with his hometown team. The competition is informed by these four words. Mr. Mbappé, who is contracted to PSG until 2025, has become “the cornerstone of the club’s project for the years to come, both on and off the pitch,” according to Nasser Al-Khelafi, the club’s president.

Real Madrid, the club that has enthralled and sought him since his adolescent years at the Institut National du Football de Clairefontaine (2011-2013), a shrine of French-style pre-training, turned down his requests. After his departure from Monaco in 2017, it was the same. PSG appeared to be the best option at the moment. It meant that a young lad barely old enough to vote but wise enough to postpone his boyhood goal did not have to flee his country right away. Paris should only serve as a stopover in a Ligue 1 that is accustomed to seeing its best players depart for pastures new.

Kylian Mbappe

But, unlike the others, PSG is a French club. The support of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund provides some counter-arguments to Real’s inherent allure to soccer players. Kylian Mbappé is no exception. He imagined himself in the “White House,” but Doha blocked his trip to Madrid last summer. It was a matter of principle, especially since the World Cup in Qatar (November 21 to December 18, 2022), in which the Blues’ number 10 will compete under the PSG banner, was less than a year away. It wasn’t a trivial detail at all.

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So, how did Paris triumph over a Real Madrid team hell-bent on luring Kylian Mbappé to the Spanish capital without having to pay a transfer fee? After receiving the two contract offers, his entourage assures Le Monde that the athlete – who does not require the services of an agent – made his decision in 72 hours.

The wealthy’s preference

While the new contract’s financial terms aren’t yet available, this would not have been a deciding factor. Mr. Mbappé had a wealthy choice: a signing bonus on the one hand, and an extension bonus on the other, not to mention a guaranteed salary boost of 20 million euros gross annually.

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