France captain Mbappe relieved with Real move, but focussed on Euro 2024

Kylian Mbappe is thrilled his long-awaited move to Real Madrid has been confirmed, but the France captain is now concentrating on the national team as they prepare for Euro 2024.

France captain Mbappe relieved with Real move, but focussed on Euro 2024

Mbappe joined the Spanish club on Monday after his Paris St Germain contract ended, and with the transfer saga finally over, the forward is delighted and relieved, but at a press conference on Tuesday he wanted to keep the focus on France.

“I wanted to express myself before starting this press conference. Everyone knows the news, it’s official, I’m going to be a Real Madrid player for the next five seasons,” Mbappe told reporters ahead of France’s friendly with Luxembourg.

“It’s an immense pleasure, a dream come true. It’s very exciting. I am very happy, liberated, relieved and extremely proud. This is the club I’ve always dreamed of being at, so I want to thank them.”

After giving his reaction to the news, Mbappe made it clear that he would not be saying any more regarding his club situation, as France aim to win the Euros for the first time since 2000.

“It’s a great day for me but I have responsibilities as captain of France and this situation has overshadowed the national team,” Mbappe said.

“I know it’s not fair to journalists, but I’ll only answer questions about the national team. I want to protect my team, it’s been a long time since we won the European Championship, 24 years is too long.”

Mbappe’s season began in turmoil, as he was left out of the PSG squad after his refusal to sign a new contract. Yet he ended the campaign with 44 goals, his highest tally in a season, and led his side to the league and cup double.

“I approached the season with a different ambition because I always thought I wasn’t going to play. I was told to my face, I was spoken to violently, so I was convinced that I wasn’t going to play,” Mbappe said.

“Luis Enrique and Luis Campos saved me. Without them, I would never have set foot on the pitch again.”

Despite his achievements with PSG last season, Mbappe was not overly satisfied with his own performance, saying he wouldn’t be happy with a similar season next year.

“That’s why my ambitions last season were different. It wasn’t as high in my standards, but just playing and winning trophies was my greatest pride,” he said.

“This has been the most difficult season and the one I’m most proud of. I haven’t been unhappy at PSG, to say that would be unfair.”

The 25-year-old goes into his fourth tournament with France, having won the 2018 World Cup and reached the final in 2022, but at Euro 2020 they went out at the last-16 stage, with Mbappe missing a penalty in the shootout against Switzerland.

“You don’t learn when you win like we did in 2018. I took a slap in the face at the Euros with a failed competition. It’s the big black spot on my CV with the national team,” Mbappe said.

“The player I am in the World Cup has shown all his qualities, the player at the Euros has everything to prove and after 24 years, people are eager to win this competition.”

By Reuters – June 5, 2024