📣 Kylian Mbappé on why he chose to stay at PSG and Real door being closed | OneFootball

📣 Kylian Mbappé on why he chose to stay at PSG and Real door being closed

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Padraig Whelan

Kylian Mbappé addressed the media at a press conference on Monday afternoon for the first time after signing his blockbuster new PSG contract.

This is the best of what he had to say.

On why he chose to stay

“Of course it has been a difficult decision because I have always wanted to focus on my football but I knew there would be a time to talk about this. I had to wait for the right time to make a decision but I’ve been living with the pressure since I was 14.

“Everybody knows I wanted to leave last year and I was convinced that would be the best decision at that time but time passes and things change. The context is different now, in a sporting and personal sense.

“I know how important this is to France, a country I have grown up in. There’s a sentimental aspect to this too. This is my country.

“The sporting project also changed and that made me want to stay because my story isn’t over yet. There are many more wonderful chapters to write here.”

On new deal coming with a greater say in higher matters

“I’m a football player and I’m not going to go beyond that role. Everyone knows how much I love talking about the game. I love it but I’m not going to do anything above my role.”

On when he decided to stay

“I made my decision last week. I didn’t tell my team-mates because the club didn’t want me to. We wanted to keep it secret for a surprise. I know you guys found out the info though.

“I made the decision before a call with Florentino Pérez. I have a lot of respect for him and Real Madrid. We have a close relationship. They wanted to do a lot to make me happy and I thank them for that so that’s why I wanted to speak to him personally.

“Then when the contract was sorted we wanted to announce it at the Parc des Princes. My team-mates found out before the [Metz] game.”

On Real Madrid door being closed now

“Something I’ve learned in football is that you should look ahead of you but not too far ahead. A year ago, I didn’t think I’d be sitting here after signing a new contract.

“I did what is best for me. I’m now concentrating on our new project but I don’t know where I will be in three years.”

On a message for Real fans

“The reality is that I’m a French man and as a French man I want to stay here and take France towards the top, take this club and this league forward.

“My message to Real fans is that I thank them. I wore their jersey once as a 14-year-old and I’m grateful for what they wanted to do for me.”

On Lionel Messi and Neymar playing a part in staying

“Playing with top players is what I’ve always wanted. It was a difficult year here. Leo Messi just arrived and Neymar couldn’t play regularly with injury.

“But mostly, as I’ve said, it was a personal choice for me and one that I hope everyone respects.”

On wanting the captaincy

“I’ve earned respect from my team-mates and opponents. But I don’t need any special responsibility. There’s always a captain at a club and we have one here in Marquinhos.

“I’m not looking to take that from him. He has the armband. I don’t need to be captain to give my point of view and set an example. That’s not a priority for me.”

On what his deal means financially

“I just want to manage my career in the best possible way. Football is changing a lot, there is a new wave but I’m not looking to revolutionise the game.

“People always talk about my image rights, sponsorship, bonuses but I just want to be allowed to play my football and focus on that. The other things aren’t issues for me.

“When discussing the new contract, we spoke about the project for many months but only about the financial side for a few minutes.”

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