Kylian Mbappe has revealed he stayed at Paris Saint-Germain for sentimental reasons and because “the project has changed”.
Mbappe was widely expected to join Real Madrid as a free agent, but snubbed the LaLiga champions to stay at PSG.
The 23-year-old forward’s new three-year deal was confirmed before the Ligue 1 champions’ 5-0 rout of Metz on Saturday and he celebrated by scoring a hat-trick.
Mbappe ended the campaign as the first player in a Ligue 1 season to be top goalscorer, with 18, and the leading assister on 17 since the awards were first given out by the LFP for the 2007-08 campaign.
Reports of Mbappe’s deal have varied, though a common suggestion has been that the France international has been given additional power at the club.
Some reports have even suggested Mbappe would be able to act as a de facto sporting director, and would be given control over possible transfers and even coaching appointments.
But Mbappe said during a news conference on Monday: “”Leaving my country like that, there is this sentimental side. And also the project has changed.
“The club has changed a lot of things and I think my story is not over.”
Asked about talk of him having more power, he said: “I remain a football player, I remain anchored in a collective.
“I remain a football player and I would not go beyond this function.”
28&17 – Kylian Mbappé becomes the 1st player to finish as top scorer (28 goals) and top assist provider (17 assists) in Ligue 1 since these two awards are given by the LFP (2007/08). Historic. #PSGFCM pic.twitter.com/jAPsEdoek2
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) May 21, 2022
Mbappe also had a word for Madrid supporters, who he thanked for accepting him as “one of their own”, even after he scored twice against Los Blancos in the Champions League this season.
“I want to thank them, they have always accepted me as one of their own,” he said.
“I understand their disappointment, but I hope they will understand that I am staying in my country and as a Frenchman I want to help my country and make grow the championship.”