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Star striker Kylian Mbappe says his decision to remain at Paris St-Germain was partly based on sentimental reasons - and believes there are “more wonderful chapters to write” at the club.
The France striker, 23, rejected a move to Real Madrid to sign a new three-year contract with the Ligue 1 champions at the weekend.
The France international had been strongly linked with a switch to Madrid prior to Saturday’s announcement that he has signed a new deal to remain at the Parc des Princes.
Mbappe, who had been due to become a free agent next month, penned a new three-year deal in the French capital and celebrated that with a hat-trick against Metz later that day.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Mbappe, explained his decision. “I made my decision last week, but I didn’t tell my teammates about it, as the club wanted to keep it a secret. I have respect for Florentino Perez and for Real Madrid. I had to call him personally. The players found out about my decision on the TV in the changing room. Last year, I wanted to leave, but every year is different. I’ve learned just to look ahead. I wanted to take the time to make the best possible choice, my own choice. There’s the sentimental side of things with France. The project has changed, and that made me want to keep going. My story here isn’t finished, and I’ve still got some great chapters to write with Paris Saint-Germain.”
On his responsibilities, Mbappe said, “I’m still a football player, and I’m rooted to a collective. I’m repeating myself here, but I’m a footballer, and I’ll stay in that role as a footballer. I like discussing and talking about football, but that’s where it ends. Responsibilities are gained on the pitch. That’s where you earn respect. There’s already a captain, and he deserves the armband. I don’t need the armband to be important on the pitch.”
PSC Chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi termed Mbappe staying back at the club as historic. “Today is a big day in the club’s history. Kylian has chosen to stay here in Paris for three more years, and we’re keeping the world’s best player with us. He’s staying here because Paris gives him the best possible conditions to allow him to help us achieve our shared sporting aims: winning, winning and winning. I’d like to thank Kylian’s family, who believe in our project, as well as all of the teams at Paris Saint-Germain who worked towards this extension. We came here to win and to write even more history for the club,” said Khelaifi.
“What I like about Kylian is who he is a sportsperson; football is what he likes. The sporting project is important for all of the players, not just for Kylian. He has never asked for anything. He just wants to win, just like we do. We invest in players so that they win with us. If they don’t want to win, we don’t want them. We’re keeping the world’s best player in France, and that’s exceptional. I’ve always believed in Kylian and in his family, and we’ve built something very strong. Kylian has played here for five years, and he has always respected his commitments. Our aim is the same as it was five years ago: to win everything,” he added.
Kylian discussed Madrid move with Messi, Neymar
Kylian Mbappe said he discussed a possible move to Real Madrid with Lionel Messi and Neymar, but did not need persuading to commit his future to Paris Saint-Germain.
The France international will once again link up with fellow superstars Messi and Neymar next season, and the player revealed he talked about his future with the pair before making his decision.
“We had a difficult season, but we talked a little bit - not a lot, because they told me it was a personal choice. They understood,” Mbappe said.
“Whether it’s PSG or Madrid, these are clubs that you don’t need convincing to play for. For any player it’s an honour to play for one of these two clubs.
“I’m playing with great players and that’s what I wanted.”
Mbappe scored 39 goals in all competitions this campaign, which is behind only Karim Benzema (44) and Robert Lewandowski (50) among players from Europe’s top five leagues.
That compares to just 13 goals for Neymar and 11 for Messi in what was a disappointing campaign for PSG on the whole, despite reclaiming their Ligue 1 crown.
Reports from France also claimed that Mbappe was persuaded to sign a new deal after being promised additional powers, including a say on transfers and coaching appointments.
It was also suggested that Mbappe would take over as captain as a reward for his loyalty, though the World Cup winner is not looking to take the armband from Marquinhos.
“He deserves his armband,” Mbappe said. “I don’t need to be a captain to be heard and set an example on the pitch. 
“Marquinhos is a great player and a very good captain. He is very important for us.”
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24/05/2022
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