‘Some people made me unhappy’: Kylian Mbappé explains PSG exit

Kylian Mbappé spoke Tuesday of his “immense pleasure” at finally joining Real Madrid and felt his time at Paris Saint-Germain came to a sad end.

The France forward will officially join on a free transfer on 1 July after his Paris Saint-Germain contract expires. Mbappé will be paid an annual salary of between €15m (£12.8m) and €20m (£17m) with annual increments. He is due to receive a €125m (£106.5m) signing-on bonus spread over five years of the contract, and will get 80% of his image rights.

“Finally, it’s official, I am going to be a Real Madrid player for the next five years. It’s an immense pleasure, a dream coming true, a lot of emotions,” Mbappé said at France’s training camp, on the eve of a friendly match against Luxembourg in Metz. “I’m very, very happy (and) relieved, very proud to be joining a club where I’ve always dreamed of being.”

Mbappé’s seven years at PSG came to a somewhat difficult end, and his final season started and ended amid tensions.

He was left out of a preseason tour to Japan in July after not taking up the option of a one-year contract extension, and then initially left out of the squad as the club insisted he could not leave for free and would be sold.

Mbappé informed club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi in February that he was leaving at the end of the season. But when the player made it official that he would not sign another deal with PSG, he did so in a video posted on X and not through the club’s communications department.

There was no ceremony prepared by the club for Mbappé’s final home game against Toulouse, where he was jeered by some fans.

“I wasn’t unhappy at PSG, that would be to spit in the soup,” Mbappé said. “(But) some things and some people made me unhappy.”

Mbappé did not give names, but his relationship with Al-Khelaifi reportedly grew increasingly tense when it became clear Mbappé would not sign a contract extension, despite PSG offering him the most lucrative deal in the club’s history when he signed a new contract in 2022.

“They (PSG) made me understand that I wouldn’t play, they told me to my face, they told me violently,” Mbappe said.

“Luis Enrique and Luís Campos saved me. I wouldn’t have set foot on the pitch again without them.”

Although he scored 44 goals in 48 games and won the French league and French Cup double, Mbappé struggled at times during his final season in France. He was largely ineffective in the Champions League semi-final defeat to Borussia Dortmund, failing to score in both legs and trudging off the field after PSG went out.

“Someone who’s happy has more chance of playing well but there are no excuses for some of my performances I had,” Mbappé said. “It wasn’t as high as my usual standards. Yet just to play, to win trophies was my biggest pride. But next season I won’t be satisfied with a season like that.”

Mbappé leaves PSG as the club’s all-time record scorer with 256 goals and will captain France at Euro 2024.

The Guardian