IAN HERBERT: Kylian Mbappe is the epitome of how football has lost grasp on reality
IAN HERBERT: Kylian Mbappe is the epitome of how football has lost its grip on reality… the PSG star’s ego has spiraled out of control and it would be madness for Liverpool to even consider signing him
- Kylian Mbappe has come out to declare he wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain
- The question comes just five months after signing a huge deal to stay on the French side
- The striker appears to have argued with many teammates, including Neymar
- Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos also seem to have an uneasy relationship
- Liverpool have been linked with a move due to his mother’s love for the club
It’s the short clip of Neymar being asked ‘How is Mbappe? revealing the most about the realities of working life with the footballer who never seems satisfied even now that he’s crowned the little emperor of Paris.
The Brazilian is a picture of contentment as he walks through the mixed zone player/media in Le Havre after starring in his country’s friendly win over Ghana last month. But when asked about his PSG teammate, the smile suddenly fades. At first he pretends not to hear. ‘What? Kylian?’ he asks when his inquisitors persist. He smiles and leaves.
Mbappe is the epitome of how football has completely lost its grip on reality. When his flirtation with Real Madrid entered the realm of the surreal last year, with his publication of a comic book “Je M’Appelle Kylian”, in which he is visited in a dream by Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, he keeps them and a verse receives a laundered white Madrid uniform from Zidane, the intervention of President Emmanuel Macron was necessary to keep him in Paris.
French striker Kylian Mbappe has stated that he wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain
Mbappé and Neymar endured a frosty relationship together at the Parc des Princes
“I never thought I’d talk to this man about my new contract,” he said, not realizing his own ridiculous hyperbole. “It’s great to talk to the president. To tell these important people. I would have left France as a great player, but there is a sentimental part.” And also a financial part. The small matter of £100 million a year plus £20 million in endorsements.
But now, five months later, we find that this is not enough. Despite a turnaround that left Real Madrid in shock, news comes through Marca in Madrid and L’Equipe in Paris that he wants to leave PSG as soon as possible and regrets that unimaginably lucrative contract extension.
It’s actually coming. Mbappe was visibly annoyed after PSG’s first game of the season when Neymar refused to let him take a second penalty after missing a first in a 5-2 win over Montpellier. The withering look Neymar gives him on the clip of their substitution, crouching on the penalty spot where the Brazilian puts the ball down, also says it all.
Lionel Messi (left) and Sergio Ramos have grown suspicious of Mbappe lately
There was a hateful little dig at his manager’s use of a midfield pivot in a 0-0 draw against Reims on Saturday. (#pivotgang, Mbappe posted.) He wanted better summer buys, wants to play on the wings and wants a freer reign.
The inconvenient truth is that no one at PSG seems to be able to put up with him. Neymar and Lionel Messi certainly don’t seem to do that. Messi and Sergio Ramos have been brought closer together by a mutual distrust of him. His only ally in the squad now appears to be Achraf Hakimi, the Spanish-born Moroccan fullback.
A source said: ‘We are hearing some complaints within the club about his ego, he is increasingly feeling like he is looking everywhere to get his way. Even some people said privately last summer that they would be happy if he went to Madrid because things would be easier in the club.”
Mbappe’s relationship with Mauricio Pochettino was actually quite good. Pochettino saw an intelligence in him, loved talking to him about the Premier League and La Liga, felt he craved love and attention and was willing to offer it. That was – is – Pochettino’s way with young players. His successor, Christophe Galtier, doesn’t seem to have that same ability to deal with the big ego.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp must avoid trying to sign Mbappe soon
That ego is now out of control. Mbappe’s petulant complacency is the product of PSG’s Qatari owners and chairman Nasser Al Khalifa who gave him the money, the power and “the keys to their project,” as L’Equipe’s Lionel Dangoumau put it on Tuesday. PSG won’t let him leave this winter and the question is whether Madrid will want him and his £300m price tag after all, having played so royally once before. But with Mbappe holding the optional third year of his contract, the question of a sale will rise next summer if PSG want to ensure he doesn’t leave on a free transfer.
Liverpool, whether they like it or not, can be swept up in this story. In May, Mbappe showed more evidence of his dexterous line in flirting by revealing that they are his mother Fayza’s favorite club and that he had spoken to them five years ago. ‘It’s a good club. It’s a big club.’
They are not allowed to touch him. It would be madness for any club to even come close to this blaring, self-centered person who has become so accustomed to power and a football world where the player is a brand. Any manager who is tempted risks a desperate form of submission in the resulting working relationship.
Thierry Henry asked Mbappe in a TV studio on Tuesday evening: ‘Did they make him feel like the club was the most important thing or did they make him feel like he was more important than the club?’ The question was purely rhetorical.