How Mbappé put everything back in his pocket after months of yoyoing

From our Special Envoy in Doha,

On one side the mouth is sewn, on the other the mouths are gaping. With an early stratospheric World Cup on his part, and this despite not always spectacular matches from A to Z, which suggests killing the day when that happens, Kylian Mbappé has (again) become the center of the world . And from the foreign sports press that, a day after its crazy match against Poland, no longer knows where to give superlatives. In Spain, first, where his popularity rating took a hit to the tiles after his second almost blasphemous rejection of a kneeling Real Madrid. “Mbappé comes from another galaxy”, headline for example ASMonday, while in Italy, the Gazzetta dello Sport spoke about the “Martian” and his “two masterpieces to be shown in the Louvre, even at the risk of getting soup from the ecologists”.

across the Channel, the Guardian satisfied himself with the title in a “You did well to take three right backs, Gareth [Southgate] “, in anticipation of the quarter-final on Saturday. Flower of backhoe loaders that should be appreciated by the player, he who decided to hide himself in silence after several months of media frenzy where, let’s say, from his telenovela endless “PSG, Real, Real, PSG” through his cleverly distilled leaks of his clan reporting a desire to leave Paris in the next transfer window, he did not do much to endear himself to eyes of the great audience.

Seen from abroad, whims that raise questions

Since there is no flattering praise without freedom to blame, the boy has had his fair share of criticism, to the point of sowing chaos in the minds of some clubs capable of lining up the GDP of Liechtenstein to pay. In The team, a day after his big sausage, explained that Florentino Perez himself wondered if, whatever football monster he is, such an ego does not risk upsetting the balance of his locker room. And we are talking about a man who had to manage the mood of Monsignor Crstiano Ronaldo for more than ten years! Asked quickly Wednesday evening after the press conference of Konaté and Rabiot, two of our foreign colleagues confirm this inquiry.

seen from England, he gives the impression of someone who is difficult to manage when you don’t give him what he wants, someone who imposes his views and when things don’t go his way he will let it out at the worst possible time. way. This may not be the case but it is in any case the image he will give, explains Ben Fisher who follows the Blues for Guardian. He also has this image of someone who is focused on money, on his contract, on his advertising revenue. It may be wrong but the English, and journalists in particular, are a bit skeptical about him when we talk about off the pitch, we don’t always read his main motivations.

An observation shared by Francisco Canepa of ESPN Sudamerica: “From the point of view of attitude, sometimes he can give the impression of being arrogant, which can work against him and I think this has happened in recent months. I remember his gesture of humor at the beginning of the season when Vitinha did not pass him the ball and he completely stopped playing… Because we do not know what PSG promised him to extend, and therefore what is respected or not respected by the club, for the general public it is difficult to understand and forgive this erratic, selfish attitude. “Not to mention this little game that he seems to have played at Real and PSG for more than a year, sometimes gives his preference to the Casa Blanca that he dreamed of at night as a child, sometimes to the club of his city, and where supporters of two clubs on one side or on the other made some parts of the Pyrenees.

In, at the end of the day, a decision almost against the direction of the great story that would become his, even if the supporters of Paris gave him their blessing after the sinking of the Santiago Bernabeu. “I think there is something with Kylian that is more than football, beyond the fact that he has been given the keys to the house of PSG, beyond the money that he has touched and that he can touch Real. There is something bigger in this choice, something beyond us, reflects Franscisco Canepa. The feeling of representing French football, being the guarantor of his country’s image around the world, the benchmark player, almost political. “If he dreams of being Emmanuel Macron’s successor by shaving in the morning, he is also very attentive to the image he brings back. Because of the Mbappé phenomenon, we are no longer talking about a player but (already) an icon. Not everyone can claim that on the front page of Time.

“When Mbappé plays, everyone agrees”

So, aware of being talked about too much for the wrong reasons recently, the boy and his clan decided to close the media shop as the World Cup approaches. No more interviews, no more false statements, nothing. It is no coincidence that he has not appeared in a press conference since the beginning of the World Cup, unlike all these little fellows from the French team. Obliged to respect the FIFA protocol – after avoiding it twice – that the player of the match wants to present himself in the conf for three questions after the meetings, Mbappé explained on Sunday the reasons for the silence: “ I know There are a lot of questions about why I don’t speak, he said after qualifying against Poland. Do not take it personally. I just need to focus on my competition. And when I concentrate on something, I have to do it one hundred percent, not waste energy. »

“Talking with your feet”, as Deschamps said that same night, the strategy of child by Bondi. And what our colleagues tell us, it works. Ben Fisher: “I think his image has been changing since the start of the World Cup. He is so impressive, so dominant, he exudes such a sense of power, of fear even in his opponents, that he gets respect of all the people who managed to criticize him. “This is what we call in Argentina that avoids a ‘permanent Boca-River’, that is, the smallest thing you say can take on captivating proportions. The best option is to limit yourself to what you know how to do best: playing football. And when Mbappé plays, everyone agrees,” said our colleague from ESPN with a smile.

Even in Spain where, a few months ago, he was promised tar and feathers if he dared to lay a finger in Madrid, the jackets are now doing a 360 direction Bernabeu. Former Real player and famous consultant for Cadena Ser, Alvaro Benito has already forgiven him everything: “I don’t hold grudges, you have to know how to be pragmatic (laughs)! “. Actually, on the eve of this France-England quarter-final, there is only one incorrigible joker who refuses to stop from the cars. It is clear that we want to talk about this devil of Tomas Ronsero, the famous consultant of the Madrilenian who was more angry than angry, who expressed the The Chiringuito after the victory against Poland: “As a Madridista, I will not forgive him. Thanks to Real Madrid he negotiated a big contract, which he remains in his golden prison”. Come Tomas, a new double against the Three Lions and we bet our Cordobes that you will join the flock.

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