Kylian Mbappé will leave Paris Saint-Germain – what does it mean for him, the club and Real Madrid?

Kylian Mbappe confirmed the open secret on Friday night. He will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season, and Sunday’s match against Toulouse will be his last match with the club at the Parc des Princes.

His announcement came after Tuesday’s disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of Borussia Dortmund. The athlete He revealed he will leave in February – and PSG have been planning for this possibility for a long time.

The assumption among fans is that Mbappe will join Real Madrid, but what is the situation with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu? What does his exit mean for Paris Saint-Germain, and for Mbappe himself?

Here, our experts tell you about Mbappe’s departure, and what it means for the world of football.

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What did Mbappe say on Friday?

In a video posted on social media, the France international said: “I have always said that I will talk to you when the time comes. I wanted to announce to all of you that it is my last year at Paris Saint-Germain.” I will not extend (my contract) and the adventure will end in a few weeks. I will play my last match at Parc des Princes on Sunday.

“It’s difficult. I never thought it would be so difficult to announce that I was leaving my country. France, the French League, the championship I have always known but I think I need this – a new challenge after seven years.

He also thanked his former coaches at Paris Saint-Germain, other staff and the fans. Mbappé also promised to claim another title – the French Cup on May 25.

Peter Rutzler

How will Mbappe be remembered at Paris Saint-Germain?

Mbappe is the best French player to wear a Paris Saint-Germain shirt. It is arguably the best ever, and perhaps the most important and influential.

Since he signed from Monaco in the summer of 2017, first on loan and then made permanent for €180m (now £153.8m; $193.7m), PSG have changed. They were now an internationally recognized brand, a fantastic club, a team with star players and Mbappe was at the heart of that.

The relationship between Paris Saint-Germain fans and their star player has not always been a passionate one over the past seven years – a product, as L’Equipe put it last week, of frequent “near-departures” that sometimes led to boos.

But he was beloved in Paris as a captain for club and country, and the home-grown star who became the face of Paris Saint-Germain. Things off the field have not completely diminished the respect, admiration and affection for this global superstar. This was underlined by the fact that he, along with his brother Ethan, visited Princes Park on a Friday night around the time of his announcement, to meet the club’s ultras – their most committed fans – for an end-of-season barbecue.

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Mbappe left his mark at Paris Saint-Germain. He has broken numerous records since signing at the age of eighteen. He surpassed all his predecessors in Paris.

Paris Saint-Germain fans raise Mbappe’s flag this season (Frank Fife/AFP via Getty Images)

He has scored the most goals for Paris Saint-Germain domestically and in Europe, as well as the most hat-tricks, the most doubles and the most goals in a single match (five). He helped France win the World Cup during his time at the club, as well as scoring in successive World Cup finals (including one hat-trick), winning the tournament’s Golden Boot and becoming France’s captain. He is the most prolific goalscorer the French league has seen since Jean-Pierre Papin was running riot with Marseille in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

If he wins the Ligue 1 Golden Boot again this season (which is almost certain: he has 26 goals, while second-placed Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette has 17), he will have claimed the award six times in a row – no player has done so before.

Mbappé will still leave without winning the biggest prize in club football, the Champions League, and that will always be disappointing for him. But he leaves an indelible mark on Paris Saint-Germain.

Peter Rutzler

Is Paris Saint-Germain ready for his departure?

While Mbappe’s exit from Paris Saint-Germain is only now official, it wasn’t entirely unexpected. Speculation about his future has been ongoing for years.

Paris Saint-Germain began the process of renewal last summer, moving on from the “Galacticos” era. This was determined by the departure of Lionel Messi and Neymar.

The focus is instead on a younger, more cohesive unit, designed with a long-term focus and a clear gameplay philosophy in mind. Luis Enrique is the head coach who has been tasked with holding this team together.

Paris Saint-Germain has invested heavily to build a squad designed for this new identity, spending more than €250 million on 13 new players. They made further additions in January, adding youngsters Lucas Beraldo and Gabriel Moscardo from Sao Paulo and Corinthians respectively.

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While PSG will lose elite-level talent, the idea of ​​“the club above everything else” – emphasized by President Nasser Al-Khelaifi last summer – may be easier to implement. However, they will still try to sign the best players, and among those targeted are Victor Osimhen and Javi. This is because Mbappe will leave a big gap. He is arguably the best player in the world today and has remained the main source of goals.

Peter Rutzler

Why did Mbappe choose to leave Paris Saint-Germain?

This exit has been a long time coming. Mbappe has not yet confirmed his next destination, but it is no secret that he has been a fan of Real Madrid for a long time. It started with an infamous photo of Mbappe surrounded by posters of Cristiano Ronaldo in his childhood bedroom.

Since then, he has come close to moving on multiple occasions. In December 2012, when he was 14 years old, he visited Valdebebas’s training ground. Before he joined Paris Saint-Germain from Monaco, Real Madrid were present in discussions. Then, over the past three years, Real Madrid came close to signing him. None more so than in 2022, when everyone expected Mbappe to sign for Real Madrid.

But then, after convincing the French president, among others, before the World Cup in Qatar and the Olympic Games in Paris, he unexpectedly signed a lucrative new contract in May 2022.

Sports things have not gone as planned since then. The expected goals were not signed, mainly due to Financial Fair Play restrictions. Shortly after his contract was renewed, it was clear that he was unhappy. Last summer, Mbappe decided not to extend his contract until 2025 and informed the club at that time. It was put up for sale but a settlement led to the end of the standoff. But by that point, his exit was clear.

Mbappe after his new contract with Paris Saint-Germain (Frank Fife/AFP via Getty Images)

All his time in Paris, he felt as if he were passing through it; That at some point he will move again.

He left his mark at the biggest club in France and in French football, where he won numerous records and awards. He didn’t bring the Champions League to Paris, which would be a shame. But for Mbappé, now 25, it was the right time to move on.

All he’s waiting for now is confirmation of where that destination will be – with PSG always clear he will go to Madrid.

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Peter Rutzler

How did Real Madrid convince Mbappe to move?

Real Madrid have been interested in Mbappe for years, and his latest contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain, in May 2022, was a disappointment for the Spanish giants.

But after some hesitation, Real Madrid decided last December that they would make a final decision on whether or not to make a final bid for Mbappé in January. Several meetings were held that month in which President Florentino Pérez insisted on a last-ditch effort. Perez was in direct contact with Mbappé, to the point that the striker himself told Perez what he was saying with PSG in May 2022.

They never lost touch.

After those meetings, Real Madrid began negotiations with the delegation accompanying the player. Their offer will be lower than the previous contracts they put forward, because Mbappé will be two years older than him, because their project was more specific and because of the different economic picture in Madrid. The high cost of renovating the Bernabeu stadium will be a factor.

However, between the signing bonus and salary, Mbappé will become Madrid’s highest-paid player. He will need to show his commitment to Madrid by accepting the offer.

There was some hesitation within Mbappe’s entourage but Mbappe eventually gave positive indications to Madrid about their proposal. He then told them that he would inform PSG that he was leaving the club in the summer, which happened in February.

Mario Cortegana

Why didn’t Real Madrid announce Mbappe’s arrival?

Mbappe informed Real Madrid that he will inform Paris Saint-Germain of his departure when the Spanish team is in Leipzig to play the Champions League round of 16 match. During that trip, important members of Madrid’s board told coach Carlo Ancelotti that they would be able to take Mbappé into account when planning next season.

This has not changed, but there has been no internal communication confirming Mbappé’s arrival. Real Madrid have always officially communicated that they have no interest in Mbappe.

Mbappe scarves are sold outside Real Madrid’s stadium (David Ramos/Getty Images)

In Germany, there was talk that Mbappé’s mother, Fayza El Amari, who is also his agent, had asked for discretion over the transfer to protect her son. Real Madrid respected those wishes and allowed Mbappe to control the pace of communication.

Real Madrid do not want Mbappe’s arrival to distract from the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund on June 1. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they don’t officially announce Mbappe’s signing until after that match.

Mario Cortegana

(Top image: Frank Fife/AFP via Getty Images)

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