When the news broke that Kylian Mbappe would be renewing at Paris Saint-Germain, the footballing news cycle went into overdrive.
The first wind of confirmation came from Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio early on Saturday afternoon as the clocks ticked onwards, those reports gathered steam.
By the time PSG’s squad was preparing for their match against FC Metz, the news was everywhere. For the players though, it was just the same as everyone else according to Ander Herrera.
“After the [pre-match] meal we started to see all the news coming out of Spain, your friends message you… We thought he was going to say it later on, he had said something about the Nations League.”
The Spanish midfielder made the comments to Marca in the mix zone after the match, explaining that Mbappe had left the dressing room without the others.
“Then at the stadium we saw what was out there in the middle of the pitch and when he wasn’t in the dressing room and it was all set up on the pitch we were surprised, I think the club put it together very well. Enjoy Kylian for the next years.”
“After eating I spoke with some friends on a group chat, I don’t know if he had said something to Achraf [Hakimi] or someone else close, but I found out at that moment and I think everyone else did too.”
Herrera also had a good point to add on the weight of the deal, which could transform Mbappe’s legacy at PSG.
“We gave him a round of applause and then it hit, the fact that he could become the most important player in the history of the club. We know we are an attractive club with a good project.”
As many have pointed out, perhaps the decisive factor in Mbappe’s decision was age. The French forward will only be 26 upon the expiry of this contract, giving him ample time to move to another elite club after it.
No doubt if Mbappe can bring a Champions League to the Parc des Princes, he will enter a level of adulation in Paris that few others have even come close to.