PARIS – Killian Mbape celebrated with the fans at the Parc des Princes, and then made a hat-trick after signing a new three-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday and again refused the opportunity to join Real Madrid.
Before PSG beat Metz 5-0 in their last home game, the French star, who won the World Cup, stood on a platform near the central circle to appeal to fans.
“I am very happy to continue this adventure, to stay in France, in Paris, my city. “I’ve always said that Paris is my home,” Mbape said.
Mbape then lifted a PSG shirt with the inscription 2025 as he stood next to President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who had just announced a new deal.
“I want to tell you very good news. Killian Mbape is going to stay until 2025, ”said Al-Khelaifi, who was barely heard when fans chanted Mbape’s name over and over again. “Killian’s commitment to PSG is an amazing milestone in the history of our club.”
The contract with PSG of one of the most coveted football players expired in June, and Mbape could be available for a free transfer.
But instead of joining the 13-time European champions in Madrid who had been chasing him for so long, Mbape decided to stay to try to deliver PSG his first Champions League title.
Madrid have managed to beat PSG in the Champions League this season, but not once again in the transfer market.
The Spanish giant’s inability to sign Mbape was a significant blow to its president, Florentino Perez, who has been trying to make the transition for a year.
PSG rejected Madrid’s official bid of 180 million euros ($ 190 million) – the same amount it signed Mbape from Monaco in 2017 – and even another amount of 200 million euros ($ 211 million) was not enough to sell its a star even though he was only a year away from his contract. Mbape said he wants to leave at the end of last season, but only on the right terms for PSG.
The wealth of Qatar’s sovereign welfare fund linked to the emir allows PSG to counter bids that could be insurmountable for other clubs without government funding.
The non-broadcast reflects the dynamics of the change of power in European football. Perez was one of the architects of the separation of the European Super League from the UEFA Champions League, which exploded in 48 hours in April 2021.
PSG refused to join the 12 founders of the Super League, which allowed its president Al-Khalaifi to get one of the most powerful roles in the game as head of the Association of European Clubs.
Perez is still realizing his dream in the Super League in the conflict with UEFA.
Meanwhile, Spanish league president Javier Tebas was angry.
“It is an insult to football that PSG is going to rebuild Mbape with a huge amount of money (who knows where and how they will pay them) after losing 700 million euros in recent seasons and more than 600 million euros in wages.” He wrote on Twitter. “Al-Khelafi is as dangerous as the Super League.”
Mbape, who played for France at the 2018 World Cup, would be a subscription for Perez – especially if he lured Mbape from a team that has competed only in the last decade with funding from Qatar.
But the energy spent on the transition and the optimism of Madrid, who are chasing their record 14th victory in the European Champions Cup when they meet Liverpool in the Champions League final next Saturday in Paris, have disappeared.
When Mbape won the league’s best player for the third time last Sunday, he said he mostly decided, but didn’t say how.
Tensions between the clubs were evident when PSG were knocked out of the Champions League in the 1/8 finals by Madrid in March – despite leading 2-0 overall with two goals from Mbape – and Al-Khelaifi remained under UEFA’s investigation into the alleged confrontation with match officials after the loss.
Madrid was thwarted again by trying to sign Mbape after he left Monaco in 2017 – and even before that.
He visited the facilities of Madrid at the age of 14 and was met by the great Frenchman Zinedine Zidane, but instead he decided to start his stellar career in Monaco.
Mbape scored his first professional goal at the age of 17 years and 62 days, which broke the record of the Monaco club, led by Thierry Henry.
Henri is France’s record-breaking scorer with 51. Mbape is already 26 and could well overtake him as a PSG player.
He is PSG’s second top scorer with 171 and could surpass Edinson Cavani’s record of 200 next season.
In the home game at the end of the season, where he played with teammates Lionel Messi and Neymar, he brought his best score in the league to 28.
The brilliant attacking trio, which did not fight back this season, is expected to play together again next season.
However, Mbape is losing the chance to play together with his teammate from France Karim Benzema for Madrid, which would be a devastating partnership and the envy of Europe. Over the past year, they have worked together for Les Bleus and both scored a goal when France won the League of Nations final.
Another coveted young striker of the world – Erling Haaland, who leaves Borussia Dortmund and moves to English “Manchester City”.
Harris reported from Manchester, England.
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