Kylian Mbappé tells CNN Sport why he stayed with Paris Saint-Germain for seven years
The story of France’s teenage sensation Kylian Mbappé.
Kylian Mbappé has told his story of how he first fell in love with football, how he became a France international and how he turned down an offer from Real Madrid.
The 18-year-old from Amiens is now in his second season with Paris Saint-Germain and is about to sign a new contract.
I interviewed him in Paris – where he is playing his club football – at the French capital’s Lille Airport after his first training session on Monday. We spoke as he and his team-mates took off to play a game against Lyon.
His story continues:
‘I didn’t want to leave Lille – I had to leave,’ the teenager said. ‘I didn’t want to go to another team. I wanted to stay at Lille and I had offers from clubs in England to move to the Premier League.’
‘I didn’t want to go to the Premier League, so what would I do?’ Mbappé added. ‘I didn’t want to be a footballer in the Premier League. I was playing well there. I was in the French under-17s, the under-20s and the under-21s – then I had to go to a European Championship and it was horrible.
‘I was at 18 and I had a great club and everything changed. My girlfriend left me and then everybody started thinking I had a problem. I didn’t.’
Paris St-Germain chairman, Nasser Al Khelaifi, told me Mbappé needed to ‘beg’ the chance to leave Lille and move to Paris. ‘He needed to go to a club in the top 10 in France, that would take him to the next level.’
That is exactly what Mbappé did – and it was a chance to play in the French capital’s famous Stade de France, rather than the English Premier League.
Paris Saint-Germain’s French team play their home matches at Stade de France