The man, the myth, the Mbappe.
23-year-old Kylian Mbappe is well on his way to defining the footballing landscape in a (wipes tears) post-Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo world. The generational Frenchman is the world’s most decorated young footballer, while his scoring record (240 goals in 351 games) is utterly obscene.
Mbappe’s genius was rewarded with an absurd contract extension at Paris Saint-Germain in 2022 that will see him set a new record for earnings in 2023.
However, superstardom in the modern day is not merely defined by one’s prowess on the pitch. Nowadays, the significance of a player’s off-field ventures in terms of branding, marketing, sponsorships, etc, can’t be understated. Footballers have been morphed into products and commodities, and the business-savvy Mbappe very much understands that.
But who calls the shots in the Mbappe camp? Here’s everything you need to know about the Frenchman’s representatives.
Mbappe’s father, Wilfred, has long served as his son’s agent. Although, the Frenchman did sign with WME Sports in June 2022.
However, WME primarily signed Mbappe for representation in marketing and other off-the-field endeavours. Thus, any future transfer dealings are still likely to be conducted by the Frenchman’s tight-knit team.
WME Sports will also represent Mbappe’s entertainment company, Zebra Valley, which launched in the summer. Zebra Valley is an entertainment studio, based in L.A., focused on creating content that transcends sport and will help provide a platform for young people.
The 23-year-old has garnered a multitude of big-money sponsorships during his relatively young senior career. Mbappe is a long-time partner of Nike, while he is also an ambassador of Swiss watchmaker Hublot. The PSG star replaced Usain Bolt as the brand’s lead ambassador in 2018 before emerging as the main face of Hublot ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
The Frenchman was the cover star of EA Sports’ FIFA 21, too.
Despite signing the most lucrative of contract extensions in May 2022, Mbappe’s relationship with PSG is on a perpetual knife-edge.
Reports of the player’s discontent emerged earlier this month with some outlets suggesting that the player wants to leave Paris in January. Mbappe is said to have been left unimpressed by PSG’s work in the summer transfer window, and he isn’t too fond of his constant deployment as a lone striker.
However, Mbappe has rubbished these reports. Speaking to RMC Sport after PSG’s 1-0 win over Marseille on 16 October, he said: “I have not asked to leave PSG in January. I’m not furious with the club; it’s not true.
“I was shocked by this news as everyone else. People may think I’m involved; I’m not at all. I was taking a nap; my entourage was at my little brother’s game. We were stunned when we found out…I just wanted to say that it’s completely false. I’m very happy here.”
Mbappe certainly isn’t playing like someone who wants out. The 23-year-old has 14 goals in 15 appearances this season, while his on-pitch relationship with Lionel Messi is starting to blossom.
Mbappe seemed nailed on for a move to Real Madrid before he penned a three-year extension with PSG in May.
The news shocked the footballing world and undoubtedly damaged the ego of Los Blancos president Florentino Perez, who would’ve been confident of adding yet another Galactico to his ranks.
Perez recently said that he’s stopped reading reports about the Frenchman and added that Real already have a pair of future Ballon d’Or victors on their books in Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.
So, despite Mbappe’s rather frosty relationship with PSG, there’s certainly no guarantee that he’ll be joining Real Madrid anytime soon. However, Los Blancos are the only team that could feasibly sign the French superstar despite reports linking Liverpool with the PSG forward.
Newcastle United, anyone?