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Florentino Perez explains how the Mbappe-Real Madrid dream fell apart

Kylian Mbappe
© Paris Saint-Germain

The France international turned down a move to the Spanish capital last month in favor of signing a new contract at PSG.

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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has suggested political and economic pressure influenced Kylian Mbappe’s decision to stay at Paris Saint-Germain.

As a result, Perez feels the player is no longer the same person he first tried to sign – or as he so eloquently puts it, “This Mbappe is not my Mbappe”.

The 23-year-old attacker turned down a move to the Spanish and European champions last month. He put pen-to-paper on a new lucrative three-year contract at PSG instead.

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Perez shares his side of the story

Speaking on the popular Spanish sports show ‘El Chiringuito’ on Wednesday night, Perez shared his views of the protracted Mbappe saga that had been widely expected to go Real Madrid’s way.

“His dream was to play for Real Madrid, we wanted to do it last August and they [PSG] didn’t let him leave, he kept saying he wanted to play for Madrid and about 15 days before the situation changed,” said the Spaniard.

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“[PSG] practically offered him not only to be the leader of the team, but also of the management. It was at that point that we saw it wasn’t the same Mbappe that we wanted to sign. He changed his dreams because of the pressure.

“If a kid is called by the president of a country [Emmanuel Macron], of course, it’ll affect him. What makes no sense is that he did it at all – it influenced him a lot. But he could have succeeded at Real Madrid, just as [Zinedine] Zidane did, and still be a source of pride for his country.”

Perez added: “Politics, plus the money and the offer of leadership made him change his mind. He had a hard time. When you get into a panic, you try to get out of that as quickly as possible, I can understand that.”

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Is the Real Madrid door closed for Mbappe?

Despite feeling Mbappe has become a different man, Perez has refused to rule out another attempt to sign the striker in 2025 – when his new PSG contract runs out.

“There is no one at Real Madrid above the club,” said the president. “He is a great footballer. He can win more than others, but it is a collective sport and we have some values and principles that we can’t change them.”

Perez continued: “I have never said that it was finished forever between Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid. A lot of things can change in three years.

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“This Mbappe is not the Mbappe I wanted. But if he changes… Life can take a thousand turns. I think they confused him and he’s very young. I wish the best for him and don’t want anything bad for him – I just believe in the dream.”