A 14th Champions League was the headline of the night for Real Madrid, but the story of Kylian Mbappe’s decision to stay at Paris Saint-Germain didn’t leave them alone either.
The reaction in the Madrid-based media was one rarely seen before, with many formal outlets referring to him as a traitor.
For what it’s worth, the Real Madrid squad and management have been respectful and reluctant to spark headlines on the matter. Karim Benzema followed that line after beating Liverpool on French station Telefoot, although he did admit he would have liked to have him in Spain.
“Mbappe? I would’ve like it if he could have fulfilled his dream of playing at Real Madrid.”
“He chose him PSG and we should respect it. He is young, it’s his choice, he has a lot of responsibilities.”
Mundo Deportivo carried his comments and there was the slightest hint that Benzema, like many in Spain, felt that Real Madrid was the best place to be.
“We enjoy playing together in the national team. We’re good friends, it won’t affect our friendship. Everyone takes their own decisions. Real Madrid are Real Madrid. I’m not disappointed, [I’m] happy and I hope he does good things.”
Ultimately the Champions League will reinforce the self-esteem in Madrid, having suffered a shock at Mbappe’s decision. The sense coming out of the Spanish capital was that Los Blancos couldn’t understand how or why Mbappe would turn them down – victory in Europe will confirm for many that he made a mistake.