Paris (AFP) – Kylian Mbappe’s decision to stay at Paris Saint-Germain rather than move to Real Madrid is very good news for French football, France coach Didier Deschamps said on Saturday.
Mbappe surprised many and provoked stinging criticism from Spain by agreeing to a new three year contract last Saturday — despite another Champions League failure by the Qatar-owned side who were knocked out by Real Madrid.
Deschamps, speaking after most of his squad gathered ahead of their Nations League matches, said he did not want to get drawn on Spanish anger at Mbappe’s Real snub.
“It is his (Mbappe) choice,” said Deschamps.
“That Kylian is staying in Ligue 1 is a very very good thing for French football, and for shining a positive light on the championship abroad.
“He is French and he is attached to his club.
“Paris’s target like six or seven other big clubs is to be domestic champions and to win the Champions League.”
Deschamps — who enjoyed a highly successful career playing in Italy with Juventus — said the PSG star still has time on his side to move abroad later in his career.
“We are talking about a young player (23),” said Deschamps.
“Maybe one day he he will feel it is time to move abroad, even if it is not the obligation it was before, given the quality of Ligue 1 now.
“In another era there was certainly a difference in levels, if you looked at the hierarchy of championships, but it is not the same as it was 10 years ago.
“The fact he is staying in France does not prevent him from accomplishing great things and continue to grow as a player.”
The World Cup winning striker’s new PSG contract was attacked by Barcelona president Joan Laporta and La Liga supremo Javier Tebas.
Laporta suggested Mbappe’s deal “distorted the market” and went against “the principles of the European Union” whilst Tebas said it was “an insult to football”.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin hit back at Tebas’s remarks.
“There are too many insults anyway in football, and I think that every league should worry about their own situation,” he told AFP on Friday.
France, who won the Nations League last year, play four group matches next month, starting with the visit of Denmark to the Stade de France on June 3.
They are then due to play Croatia in Split on June 6 and Austria in Vienna on June 10 before hosting Croatia three days later.
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