Kylian Mbappe has spoken about his decision to turn down Real Madrid when he was just 14 years old.
The Frenchman, now of Paris Saint-Germain, has exploded in recent seasons to become one of the most highly-rated footballers on the planet, and is expected to be integral for France this summer as they contest Euro 2020.
France reached the final of Euro 2016 and won the 2018 World Cup in Russia, so have unsurprisingly been touted as the team to beat. They’ve also welcomed back Madrid marksman Karim Benzema into the fold. Los Blancos have long been touted as leading suitors of Mbappe, whose contract with PSG expires next summer.
But Mbappe didn’t touch on that. Instead, he focused on that trip to the Spanish capital as a teenager, when he met Cristiano Ronaldo and toured Valdebebas only to decide to stay in France. He broke through the ranks at Monaco before going on to join PSG alongside Neymar in a big-money move in the summer of 2017.
“My parents wanted me to start my career in France, to have a French education in football but also in education itself,” Mbappe told L’Obs as reported by Diario AS.
“Going to Spain, even with [Zinedine] Zidane, was another country, another culture.” Zidane is, of course, no longer in situ at Madrid, with Carlo Ancelotti now the man in charge.