Kylian Mbappe is one of the most sought-after players in world.
The Paris Saint-Germain star has scored 212 goals in 260 games for the French giants, winning four Ligue 1 titles, three French Cups, and reaching the Champions League final in 2020. He is also the captain of France and has won the World Cup, the European Championship, and the Nations League with Les Bleus.
But despite his success and fame, Mbappe has been unhappy at PSG for some time. He has refused to sign a contract extension, which expires in 2024, and has made it clear that he wants to leave the club. PSG, however, are not willing to let him go easily. They have rejected several offers from European clubs, including Real Madrid, Liverpool, and Chelsea, who are all keen to sign the 24-year-old superstar.
But in a shocking twist, PSG gave permission to a Saudi Arabian club, Al-Hilal, to speak to Mbappe. Al-Hilal, who are owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, made a world record bid of £259m for Mbappe, which would have smashed the previous record of £198m that PSG paid for Neymar in 2017. Al-Hilal also offered Mbappe a staggering salary of close to 700m euros (£602m) a year, which would have made him the highest paid player in football history.
So why did Mbappe not go to Saudi? Why did he turn down such a lucrative and unprecedented offer? Here are some possible reasons:
Mbappe is a player who wants to win trophies and compete at the highest level. He has already won most things there is to win in France, and he wants to challenge himself in other leagues and countries. He also wants to win the Champions League, which is the most prestigious club competition in the world. Al-Hilal, on the other hand, play in the Saudi Pro League, which is not very competitive or attractive. They also have little chance of qualifying for the Champions League, let alone winning it. Mbappe would have been bored and frustrated playing in Saudi Arabia, and he would have felt that he was wasting his prime years.
Lack of quality
Mbappe is used to playing with and against some of the best players in the world. He formed a formidable partnership with Neymar and Messi at PSG, and he has faced the likes of Ronaldo, Messi, Lewandowski, and Salah in international tournaments. He thrives on testing himself against the best and improving his game. Al-Hilal, however, do not have any players of that caliber. They have some decent players, such as former Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic and former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, but they are past their peak and nowhere near Mbappe’s level. Mbappe would have been isolated and lonely playing with Al-Hilal, and he would have missed the challenge and excitement of playing with and against the best.
Mbappe is a proud Frenchman who loves his country and his culture. He was born and raised in Paris, where he started his career with Monaco. He has a strong connection with his fans and his community, and he enjoys the lifestyle and diversity of France. Al-Hilal are based in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, which is a very different place from Paris. Riyadh is a conservative and religious city, where alcohol is banned, women have limited rights, and entertainment options are scarce. Mbappe would have struggled to adapt to such a culture shock, and he would have felt out of place and uncomfortable living in Riyadh.
Mbappe is a player who wants to be recognized as one of the best in history. He has already won many individual awards, such as the Golden Boy (2017), the Kopa Trophy (2018), the French Player of the Year (2018), and the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player (2018). He is also one of the favorites to win the Ballon d’Or. Al-Hilal, however, are not a club that can help Mbappe achieve his goal of winning the Ballon d’Or or any other major trophy. They are not a club that can give him the exposure and the respect that he deserves. Mbappe would have been ignored and forgotten playing in Saudi Arabia, and he would have lost his chance of becoming a legend.
These are some of the possible reasons why Mbappe did not go to Saudi. Of course, we do not know for sure what went through his mind when he received Al-Hilal’s offer.
Maybe he was tempted by the money or curious about the adventure. Maybe he was flattered by their interest or impressed by their ambition.
But ultimately, he decided to stay loyal to his principles and his dreams. He decided to reject Al-Hilal’s offer and wait for a better opportunity to come along.
But ultimately, he's decided to follow his heart and not his wallet which may be a page taken directly from the book of his close friend Leo Messi.