Monday, May 20, 2024
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Kylian Mbappe announces he’s leaving PSG: France superstar leaves an unrivaled legacy as he starts new chapter

The moment that the soccer world has been waiting for has finally arrived: Kylian Mbappe has officially announced that he is leaving PSG this summer after years of twists and turns in what developed into one of the longest lasting transfer sagas in living memory. While his final destination is officially unknown, the France international is widely believed to be set to arrive at Santiago Bernabeu in time for next season upon the completion of UEFA Euro 2024 and the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris this summer. All that remains with Paris Saint-Germain is to play the Coupe de France final for the chance to win his final piece of silverware in his homeland.

What better place to start, then, than looking at the legacy Mbappe is leaving behind him at Parc des Princes.

PSG legacy

  • 6x Ligue 1
  • 3/4x Coupe de France
  • 3x Trophee des Champions
  • 2x Coupe de la Ligue
  • 1x UCL runner-up

Mbappe leaves PSG as the French champions’ all-time top scorer across all club competitions with 255 goals and counting having overtaken former teammate Edinson Cavani (200). Also the capital club’s top scorer in Ligue 1 history with 174 goals, the iconic No. 7 leads the way in UEFA competitions (exclusively the Champions League) with 42 goals and has a combined domestic cups best tally of 39 too. Somewhat surprisingly, Mbappe is third in PSG’s all-time list for assists across all competitions on 96 with only Angel Di Maria faring better out of his teammates while his 22 UEFA assists leads the way. 

Put that in modern statistic terms and the Bondy-born talent has had a mind-blowing 351 decisive actions in Parisien colors which is at least 116 better than anybody else in the club’s history. Mbappe is also in the top 10 for all-time appearances, third for UEFA appearances and holds a variety of goal-related records such as PSG’s fastest scorer (eight seconds), most goals in a game (five) and two UEFA hat-tricks which is shared with Neymar who is the only player in club history to cost more than Mbappe’s $194 million acquisition.

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Ligue 1 legacy

  • 7x Ligue 1 (PSG and Monaco combined)
  • 5/6x top scorer
  • 4/5x Ligue 1 best player
  • 3/4x best French player
  • 2x best young player
  • 1x top assists

When you combine Mbappe’s Ligue 1 titles with PSG and Monaco that is seven out of a possible eight domestic crowns since he made his senior debut in late 2015. His total of 190 Championnat goals ranks him seventh all-time with the nearest recognizable and active name on the list ASM’s Wissam Ben Yedder down in 16th on 160. Although he will not be sticking around long enough to make a play for a position in the top 10 for all-time appearances, he is only two titles short of Marquinhos and Marco Verratti’s joint record of nine. In terms of modern figureheads and poster boys for French soccer, Mbappe is arguably the strongest profile ever curated on the domestic scene.

Les Bleus so far

  • 1x World Cup
  • 1x World Cup runner-up
  • 1x UEFA Nations League
  • 1x World Cup Golden Boot
  • 1x World Cup Silver Ball
  • 1x World Cup Best Young Player
  • 1x Kopa Trophy

Should Les Blues win either UEFA Euro 2024 and/or the Olympic Games in Paris this summer, Mbappe will have won pretty much everything possible at international level before officially leaving France for Spain. On top of that, anything won later this year would be as captain of his country after Didier Deschamps named him Hugo Lloris’ replacement after the long-serving goalkeeper retired post-Qatar. Although the hunger to add a second World Cup from 2026 onwards undoubtedly exists, Mbappe already has secured one of the titles that many of his rivals for future individual glory might never have the chance to call their own. The Olympics on home soil is as unique an opportunity as they come and his desire to participate in the Games is understandable: “My position has not changed,” said Mbappe just a few days ago at a Nike event. “The truth, also, is that it is not my present. My present is PSG. Speaking here, I am not thinking much about the Olympics but my official position on it has not changed.”

La Liga next?

What comes next is logically the continuation of his hunt for the individual prizes that have so far eluded him, with Real Madrid as by far his most likely landing spot. The French superstar could follow in George Weah’s footsteps and be another player who is crowned a Ballon d’Or winner having left PSG where the bulk of the work for that at club level was done. Compatriots Zinedine Zidane and Karim Benzema have set the bar extremely high in that regard although Zizou’s Ballon d’Or win came with Juventus and not Los Blancos. Real and bitter rivals Barcelona have 12 Ballon d’Or wins apiece although Barca have six different winners to their Madrid rivals’ eight. Could Mbappe break that deadlock in the near future? That will certainly be part of his thinking given that Carlo Ancelotti’s side need no help in securing domestic success after their 36th La Liga title was secured over the weekend. A poor season from Spanish clubs in Europe, though, has seen Italy’s Serie A overtake La Liga in the UEFA coefficient so Mbappe’s desire for individual recognition — almost exclusively limited to Real and Barca players aside from Lionel Messi’s two Argentina-inspired titles with PSG and then Inter Miami — is perfectly timed.

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