Real Madrid: Kylian Mbappé's 5 reasons to sign for Los Blancos
Following the story that broke over the weekend in The Times that the French superstar has said he wants to leave PSG next year, we consider the reasons for Madrid.
Kylian Mbappé is determined to give his footballing career a radical change in direction and, as The Times reported on Sunday, he has already told Paris Saint-Germain that he wants to leave in the summer of 2021. By that point the Frenchman will have just a single year remaining on his contract (which expires on 30 June 2022) and the likelihood would be that the French champions would want to cash in on their prized asset rather than lose him for nothing 12 months later.
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Mbappé: 5 reasons why Real Madrid
The firm decision of the 21-year-old is not driven by financial enrichment -his current salary exceeds 20 million euros net per year - but instead he is looking at footballing and personal motives. They can be captured in these five:
1. Admiration for Zidane
Since he was a child, little Kylian had a fondness for Zinedine Zidane. Mbappé came into the world just five months after the French national team conquered the 1998 World Cup, defeating Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos' Brazil 3-0 in the final, and with a double from Zizou. His father always talked to him about the Marseille idol and as a youngster he always wanted to meet him, a dream realised twelve years ago when he was able to snap a photo alongside Zidane after a charity event.
And then, at the age of 14, a young Kylian almost signed for Los Blancos and at that time was able to take a photo at Valdebebas along with one of his other great idols, Cristiano Ronaldo. In his family home he had posters of both footballing greats, both wearing the Madrid colours…
2. Champions League objective
With Monaco, he was able to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2017, proving himself one of the key players despite just being an 18-year-old boy. This aroused the interest of Madrid and PSG, the latter finally capturing his signature. He has since played in three Champions League editions with the Parisian giants, and has still not managed to lift Ol' Big Ears, although got closer than ever in the re-worked Lisbon bubble, having to settle for a runners-up medal.
Mbappé does not want to wait any longer and knows that Madrid, the king of the competition with 13 crowns already in the cabinet, is arguably the ideal team to give him that experience.
3. Ballon d’Or dreams
There’s little disputing that being a pivotal part of a Champions League-winning side provides you with a better chance of lifting the Ballon d'Or title. PSG's European failures have weighed down on Mbappé’s chances of this, and even winning the 2018 World Cup with France only got him a fourth place. Real Madrid have a great record of producing Ballon d’Or winners: Zidane, Ronaldo, Figo, Cristiano (who claimed four in the famous white shirt), Modric... and Kylian believes that Madrid’s influence on the footballing world and the media is greater.
Even his colleagues in the game have told him the same. El-Hadji Diouf, the former Liverpool player and a two-time winner of the African Ballon d'Or, said: "If Kylian wants to win the Ballon d'Or he must leave France...".
4. New Bernabéu ambition
Mbappé is perfectly aware of the ambitious reforms taking place by the Spanish club in improving the stadium. The new Santiago Bernabéu venue is expected to be one of the most modern and impressive football stadiums in the world within the next couple of years and Kylian has seen the project plans and knows what the finished result will look like.
He has already stated that playing at the Bernabéu was impressive, and the idea of being the flag-bearer of a new Madrid starring at this modern stadium is a big motivation. And, assuming all goes well, when he does the stands will be packed full of fans.
5. At home in Madrid
As well as having his compatriot Zidane in place, along with other French coaches in his team, Kylian also knows that he would share the dressing room with the likes of Varane, Benzema and Mendy, while possibly adding Camavinga and Upamecano in the coming year. A 'French-based’ Madrid would allow Mbappé to integrate quickly and hit the ground running as he looks to become the Cristiano Ronaldo of the next decade.
Mbappé is already prepared to face this enormous challenge. And if his plans are able to be fulfilled, we will only have to wait one more year...
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