Kylian Mbappe has lauded Real Madrid despite turning down a move to the Champions League holders just months ago.
With his contract at Paris Saint-Germain coming to an end, the French international has been heavily linked with a move to the Spanish club. However, with only a few days left in the season, he elected to renew his contract with Les Parisiens.
“I am delighted to remain with PSG in France.” “I’ve always stated that Paris is my home, and I hope we can keep playing football and winning trophies together,” Mbappe said after extending his stay. He hasn’t said much about Real Madrid since, but recent statements show he still holds the club in high respect.
“Real is a Ballon d’Or machine, we have to acknowledge it,” Mbappe told France Football after the award’s 2022 shortlist was unveiled, as reported by Mundo Deportivo. “There is a lot of know-how, but the pitch is the most important thing.”
“It is you who will win the Ballon d’Or, not your team.” I’m still confident that I’ll be able to win it in Paris one day.”
Mbappe has previously been nominated for the Ballon d’Or four times, finishing in the top ten on each occasion. He came closest to winning in 2018, when he finished fourth after helping France win the World Cup.
While Mbappe is one of 30 candidates for the Ballon d’Or in 2022, his PSG teammate Lionel Messi did not make the cut. That means a first-time winner this year, and Mbappe has been advocating for fellow France international Karim Benzema.
“He is 34 years old, he has just had the season of his life, he wins a new Champions League being decisive many times. “If I were Karim and didn’t win, I’d stop worrying about the Ballon d’Or for the rest of my life,” Mbappe added
Benzema did not score in last season’s Champions League final, but he finished the competition as the leading scorer with 15 goals, while Mbappe finished with six. When he scored a treble against PSG, he became the oldest player in Champions League history, and he followed it up with another treble against Chelsea in the following round.
Mbappe and Benzema are two of four Frenchmen on the Ballon d’Or shortlist, which also includes Christopher Nkunku of RB Leipzig and Mike Maignan of AC Milan. Mbappe selected himself, Benzema, and Bayern Munich’s former Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane as his top three contenders for the trophy.