Kylian Mbappé is one of the best footballers on the planet but Paris Saint-Germain supporters don’t sing his name at the Parc des Princes like they do Edinson Cavani.
That may seem like a trivial thing but it’s part of a larger issue between the Frenchman and the club’s most passionate supporters.
In a recent article, L’Equipe paints the picture of a cold relationship between Mbappé and the Ultras that has turned frigid in recent weeks.
After the 4-0 win over Dijon FCO, in which Mbappé was easily the best player on the pitch, the 21-year-old FIFA World Cup winner walked off the pitch without thanking the supporters with his teammates.
“He [Mbappé] has everything to be our darling, even more than Neymar or Cavani,” a source close to PSG told L’Equipe. “But it’s true that it remains mixed. He doesn’t have a song in his name, for example.”
Paper leads with Mbappe’s luke warm relationship with PSG fans. Wonders why player who comes from the capital and has been involved in 136 goals in 118 games (87 goals, 49 assists) has no song and isn’t revered pic.twitter.com/VteQwc83gf
— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) March 3, 2020
There have been other clashes between Mbappé and the supporters since he arrived in 2017. As the L’Equipe article details, last season, after the shocking loss to Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League, 500 Ultras were invited to a training session where they proceeded to insult the players and Mbappé in particular.
It’s important to remember that Mbappé didn’t come through the PSG academy. It’s also well established that he grew up with posters of Cristiano Ronaldo on his wall and he’s claimed that Zinedine Zidane was his idol as a youngster dreaming of playing professional football.
That’s not to say Mbappé doesn’t have PSG in his heart. He could have signed for any top club in the world in 2017 when he was with AS Monaco but decided to come to Paris to cement his legacy in French football by bringing a Champions League title to PSG.
What it does indicate is that unlike Cavani, whose name is sung around the Parc des Princes, Mbappé’s time in Paris is going to be shortlived with Real Madrid likely planning a summer bid.
Mbappé has yet to sign a contract extension with PSG to keep him at the club past 2022 and with that lack of long-term commitment, the supporters are going to be more critical of their superstar especially when he fails to deliver in the Champions League.
Another issue the fans have with Mbappé is his arrogance that has bubbled over the top at times this season. Twice, Mbappé has argued with his manager after being substituted off by Thomas Tuchel. For the supporters, it comes across as disrespectful to the other players on the bench even if Mbappé doesn’t mean it that way and is just being uber-competitive.
“He [Mbappé] does nothing calculated, everything is spontaneous in there,” a source close to the locker room tells L’Equipe. “Maybe he should be more calculating? You are not going to win the hearts of the public because your name is Mbappé or Neymar, the Parc is demanding.”
Of course, Mbappé could put all of this to rest by signing a contract extension before the match against Dortmund, which would indicate he’s committed to PSG no matter what happens in the Champions League this season.
Mbappé could also thank the supporters for their efforts after matches. He may not have liked their banner, but if there is anyone who can understand emotions getting the best of someone, it would be PSG’s number 7.
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