Real Madrid – PSG – “We already have 13 Champions League, there is only one like him”: Mbappe makes Madrid schizophrenic

From our special correspondent in Madrid

As if he hadn’t attracted enough attention so far, Kylian Mbappe has added an unbearable tension around his entry into a competition in which he was already the main protagonist. Since Monday, and the great sole of Idrissa Gueye, Madrid lives only to the rhythm of scattered clues here and there to find out if the one that an entire city waits for will finally be able to keep its place. Every step passed on social networks is dissected.

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Is he limping or not? From that moment, in Madrid, from the taxi driver, obsessed with Mbappé at the sight of his client’s French passport, to the sports channels, two main themes, apart from the presence or not of Toni Kroos, surround the round of 16 second stage of the Champions League between Real Madrid and PSG which, incidentally, will determine the fate of two of the favorites for the final victory:

  • 1. Will Kylian Mbappe be able to keep his place?
  • 2. How will the Santiago Bernabéu welcome Kylian Mbappé?

On Tuesday, the entire Madrid sports press, and even some of the Catalan press (El Mundo Deportivo), devoted their front pages to the Parisian’s injury when L’Equipe didn’t even mention it on the front page. Those same Spanish newspapers, no doubt victims of the Stockholm syndrome, would rather have insisted on their executioner’s monumental performance than on Real’s nightmare the day after the first leg. So much so that we no longer really know what the residents of Madrid want most: a withdrawal that, mechanically speaking, would increase their team’s chances of qualifying, or the presence of the boy from Bondy to electrify the stadium as a foretaste from what could expect him next season?

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If the majority of supporters interviewed were hoping for a package, it was not the case for everyone around the Bernabeu: “I prefer to see ittestifies Ruben, Modric jersey on the back. Perhaps Paris is better with him, but I want to see with my own eyes what he is capable of here. We always want to see the best players, so Mbappe, our future striker…“The debate is closed a priori and the world champion will be present.

Mbappé has been following this for months

What you need to know is that Mbappé has been here for monthssays Pablo Polo, journalist at Marca and since 2006 a follower of Real Madrid. It’s absolutely crazy and it takes on never-before-seen proportions. No one doubts his transfer, as Real fans are still very optimistic.The hope of seeing him sign is made viral every day in broadcasts, newspapers and long debates, because Real, Cristiano Ronaldo’s orphan since 2018, needs the Ballon d’Or to fulfill his ambitions. Parisian bus at the foot of the dizzying Eurostars Madrid Tower, the five-star hotel where PSG is located, arrive to measure some of the enthusiasm.Everyone watched a priori the footsteps of the world champion and his approach without collision, accompanied by howling of Madrilenians who are already in love.Kylian, come to Madrid‘ echoed even as he burst into the palace hall.

Mbappe when PSG arrive at his hotel in Madrid

Credit: Getty Images

Should we therefore expect a particularly hospitable Santiago Bernabeu when it comes to hosting the one who can end Real’s European dream? †It will be great received, I’m suresays Pablo Polo. Firstly, because it is a real feature of this stadium: it knows how to recognize the greats. If Real applaud Ronaldinho when he plays at Barca, I don’t think he will have a problem with Mbappe. And then everyone imagines Madrid in six months’ time. Finally, I think the fans know it’s important to feel welcome and if that can tip the scales… They will definitely do something

Modric: ‘Of course I would like to play with him in my team’

This puts Real, a possible future club for Mbappe but an opponent on Wednesday, in a dire situation. Early in the afternoon on Tuesday, Luka Modric and Carlo Ancelotti had to face the subject at a press conference. Nearly a third of the questions related in one way or another to the world champion. Modric made no secret of his admiration for Mbappe as he stroked PSG’s hair: “Of course I would like to play with him in my team. We will see in the future. It’s hard to talk about players who don’t belong to Real. The other teams may get angry and misinterpret.

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The same balancing act for a Carlo Ancelotti torn by the need to see Bernabeu behave well at Mbappé and the need to have a stadium behind his team:I would understand if our supporters applauded Mbappe. Bernabéu fans love great players, but they also love to see Madrid win and play well. I want them behind us.

What if fans had to choose between winning the Champions League in May or signing Mbappe? Amine, a supporter since 2002, before running under the Bernabeu cranes to visit the club’s museum, confides: “At Real we don’t choose, we take the big players and the titles. But we already have 13 Champions League and there is only one Mbappé…Elimination would be a disaster for Real, let’s be clear, predicts Pablo Polo. The night will be tough, but the prospect of seeing Mbappe sign for Real may offer some comfortMadrid will be completely schizophrenic on Wednesday.

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