The French striker opted to stay at Paris Saint-Germain this summer and later revealed that he had discussed the matter with Emmanuel Macron.
Kylian Mbappé was placed under “economic and political pressure” in deciding to stay at Paris Saint-Germain rather than move to Real Madrid, according to the Spanish giants’ president, Florentino Pérez.
A protracted transfer saga came to an end last month when Mbappe, 23, finally revealed he would be staying at PSG despite flirting a move to longtime royal fans.
PSG retained the striker’s services in a new three-year deal that reportedly makes Mbappe the highest-paid player in world football.
Both Mbappe and French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed after he re-signed with PSG that they had discussed the issue.
“I simply advised him, quite informally, to stay in France. I think it’s my responsibility, as president, to stand up for the country when asked to do so in an informal and friendly way.” Macron said, adding that “I have never been involved in any transfer.”
Mbappé denied that Macron directly influenced his decision, but said the leader had given him “good advice.”
“I have a lot of respect for him, but I didn’t make the decision because he told me to stay. But it was one factor among others.” admitted the winner of the World Cup.
Some of the Real Madrid faithful were upset by Mbappé’s rejection, not least because they had been led to believe that the striker’s dream was to sign for the giants at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Speaking about the situation on the Spanish program El Chiringuito on Wednesday night, Real Madrid president Pérez defiantly suggested that Mbappé’s personality had “change” as the saga progressed.
“We saw that it was not the Mbappé that we wanted to bring, but it was the result of the pressure he was under that changed his dreams”, Pérez said, quoted by AFP.
“If a child is called by the president of a country, of course it affects him… that influenced him a lot.”
Mbappe’s new PSG deal reportedly sees him pocket a signing fee of more than €100 million ($104 million), as well as annual net salaries of €40-60 million ($41.5-62 million). .
Pérez alluded to the political and economic pressure that inevitably comes from the wealthy Qatari benefactors who have financed PSG’s lavish project since they took office in 2011.
“I think the pressure that could have affected him the most was politics,” Perez said.
“That, plus the money and the offer of leadership have made him change his mind. He had a bad time.
“When you panic, you try to get out of it as fast as possible, I can understand that. But what I don’t understand is that the King of Spain calls a Spanish club to tell him to keep a player.
“There are two states involved there, one is Qatar and the other is France. I’ve been here since 2000 and I’ve never seen that before, that a president of a state calls a player.
Despite the anger felt by many of the Los Blancos faithful at being shunned by Mbappé, Pérez did not rule out a future move for the striker, saying: “I calmly tell you that life is not over yet.”
After missing Mbappe’s arrival in Spain, La Liga officials have been infuriated by transfer activity from PSG and Manchester City, which is financed by its Abu Dhabi owners.
The league confirmed this week that it had filed a formal complaint with UEFA against the couple, accusing them of “continuous non-compliance” Regulation of Financial Fair Play (FFP).
The League also said it was stepping up legal efforts against the Middle Eastern-backed duo.
English Premier League champions Man City recently added coveted Norwegian striker Erling Haaland to their ranks, in a deal estimated to cost more than £85 million ($102 million) when all associated fees are accounted for.
As well as securing the continued services of Mbappe, PSG will begin the defense of their Ligue 1 title next season with the big earners of Neymar and Lionel Messi still in the squad, among assorted other stars.
But while his lavish transfer spending has undoubtedly shaken the landscape of continental football over the past decade, neither PSG nor Man City have yet captured the UEFA Champions League.
Real Madrid defeated both PSG and City en route to winning a record 14 European titles in May, which they achieved by beating Liverpool in the final in Paris.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.