It ended before the season had, but the transfer saga of the summer was as dramatic as it had promised to be. It looked as if Kylian Mbappe was all set to sign for Real Madrid a month ago but during Paris Saint-Germain‘s final game of the season, he announced officially that he would be staying in Paris.
Stories and reports of how he came to the decision, the figures involved and a number of other intriguing details about Mbappe’s change of heart filled the press for days after the event.
One of the more remarkable ones was that French President Emmanuel Macron had pressured him into staying in France.
“I have never intervened in any transfer. Simply, like any other citizen, when it comes to sporting matters I always want to see good play and support a team, in particular in my case, Olympique Marseilles.”
Macron is publicly a large Marseille fan but has recognised that Mbappe’s presence is good for France – and that he told the player that.
“Yes, it’s true that I had a conversation with Mbappe before he took a firm decision on his future. In which I went as far as advising him, in a completely informal manner, that he should stay in France.”
Those comments were made in a press conference and reported by Marca. Whether that advice was tantamount to pressure as the Madrid media often remarked, only Mbappe and Macron will know. It does however highlight the importance of Mbappe as a national figure in his homeland. The influence of footballers continues to grow and few have more than Mbappe.