October 4, 2022
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Kylian Mbappe’s transfer saga and the ugliness around the deal

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Kylian Mbappé is a wonderful footballer. He is 23, lightning fast, skillful and has, so far, seemingly dealt remarkably well with all the pressure that comes with his fame. And yet it’s impossible not to look at the story of his decision to sign a three-year deal to stay at PSG worth a reported €80 million ($85 million) annually in addition to a signing-on fee believed to be at least €150 million and feel a profound sadness for modern football. Everything about this deal is tawdry.

Mbappé ran down his existing contract, which would have expired at the end of June. He was courted by Real Madrid, which had made a reported €200 million bid for him on deadline day at the beginning of the summer. None of this was about football; it was all about status. Mbappé and his representatives were clever. They played PSG off against Madrid and they have been rewarded. But for that to happen was only possible because of the background forces at work.





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