Ligue 1 Review | Kylian Mbappé’s uncomfortable Goodbye to Parc des Princes – Get French Football News

Last night when Paris Saint-Germain would lift their 12th Ligue 1 title in front of a packed Parc des Princes, there was a noticeable awkward air to the proceedings. The elephant in the room that felt only partially addressed, weighed heavy on a strange evening. 

On Friday, Kylian Mbappé announced in a short video posted to his social media that he would be leaving his hometown club seven years after joining them from AS Monaco. His flirtation with Real Madrid had finally taken the next step and at the end of this season, he would become the next superstar to find his home in the Spanish capital. 

If the announcement was sudden then it was hardly surprising, as his manager Luis Enrique stated, “We have known this for a long time.” The video was reportedly recorded weeks in advance but only published once PSG had been eliminated from the Champions League; which meant that there would at least be time for one last goodbye to the Parc as PSG took on Toulouse FC. 

And as the stadium announcer read Mbappé’s name out it was met with a wave of boos, a sentiment that was only settled once the Collectif Ultras Paris silenced the discontent and displayed their recognition of a player who had become the club’s all-time record goalscorer with a giant tifo. 

No tribute prepared for Kylian Mbappé

A tifo from the fans would be the only recognition that Mbappé would receive on the night after the club had been caught unaware by the timing of the Frenchman’s announcement. Only the sporting director, Luís Campos (a personal friend of Mbappé’s) had been allowed into the inner circle and knew when the timing of this poorly kept bombshell would hit.

PSG had no official statement prepared on Friday and expressed that there was simply not enough time for them to compose a suitable tribute for their soon-to-be parted star by the Sunday. It created a bizarre environment where the very fact that Mbappé would be leaving was painfully ignored by the club, as they did not even go to the extent of making the tiniest gesture of goodwill towards the Frenchman. 

It was an omission from the French champions to match Mbappé’s own notable absence from his long list of thank yous in his goodbye video. The names of every PSG manager Mbappé had worked under were present and thanked for the help they had provided in shaping him into the player he has become but the name of the club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was nowhere to be seen. 

Three lines to define seven years

Instead in this last home game for Mbappé, PSG suggested that it would reserve its celebrations purely for the league title. The message was somewhat clear if not strictly followed, the team would be celebrated over any singular individual. However, there was still time for PSG to pay special recognition towards Keylor Navas who announced his own departure a day after Mbappé, as well as to the stadium announcer. 

And it was the announcer, Michel Montana (who would be retiring from his role after the game) that was invited up on stage by Marquinhos to lift the league title alongside him, while Mbappé was left holding the microphone and acting as the hype-man. A role reversal that cut to the heart of the strange evening, where a club legend was forcefully put in his place. 

In the end, it would be Montana who provided the only piece of recognition that PSG would offer the Paris-born player, “Kylian wore the colours for seven seasons. He won 14 titles and became the top scorer in the club’s history. Kylian, the club thanks you.” An uncomfortable goodbye in front of the Parc, neither fitting of the player nor the club. 

This week’s Ligue 1 subplots

  • AS Monaco secured second position with a 2-0 victory over Montpellier HSC last night and a return to the Champions League. GFFN interviewed Monaco’s sporting director Thiago Scuro who reflected on a “tough season” for the Principality. Read the interview HERE
  • A loss for Clermont Foot on Sunday means that the bottom-placed side have been relegated with one game remaining. FC Lorient look set to join as they remain on the brink of the drop into Ligue 2, but hold on to a slither of hope. See how the relegation fight is shaping up HERE
  • Stade Rennais hosted RC Lens at the Roazhon Park needing to win to keep pace with their pre-season European ambitions. However, on a night of defensive fragility, a draw left Rennes without European football for the first time since the 2017-18 season. Read the full match report HERE

GFFN | Nick Hartland


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