After a successful 2022 World Cup, Kylian Mbappe received great expectations when he returned to PSG. However, the French player’s performance declined over time.
On January 24, PSG beat Pays de Cassel 7-0 in round 32 of the French National Cup. In front of an opponent who is not on the same level from the 6th division, Mbappe freely shows off his talent. For the first time in his career, Mbappe scored 5 goals in a game for PSG.
It is a stepping stone for the “scorer” of the World Cup 2022 to be more sublimated, leading PSG towards a successful season. However, the striker born in 1998 is showing erratic form.
Mbappe surprised many when he returned to the PSG training ground less than 72 hours after the end of the 2022 World Cup, in which he scored a hat-trick in the final. French media revealed that Mbappe does not want to have more days off after the 2022 World Cup.
The former AS Monaco star did this because he wanted to maintain his form and catch up with club football as soon as possible. In other words, Mbappe wants to maintain the rhythm of the game. The striker hopes to continue to have a good performance like at the 2022 World Cup when the club season restarts.
“We are very happy for that,” coach Christophe Galtier said of Mbappe’s decision to return to PSG. “He wants to return to training as soon as possible, joining his teammates to prepare for the upcoming match.”
Mbappe’s efforts paid off against Pays de Cassel when he became the first player in the history of the French capital club to score five goals in an official match.
On March 5, Mbappe surpassed Edinson Cavani to become the highest scorer in the history of PSG in a 4-2 victory over Nantes. Also in this match, Mbappe scored twice and assisted another for Lionel Messi, helping PSG widen the gap with Marseille to 11 points in Ligue 1.
However, Mbappe’s overall performance did not live up to expectations. Mbappe has fitness problems so he sits on the bench in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Bayern Munich. He was launched into the field in the second half in the context of the Paris team stalemate before the German club. Mbappe twice put the ball into the net of Bayern but was denied due to offside.
In the second leg at the Allianz Arena, Mbappe showed almost nothing and received much criticism from the French press. Recently, Mbappe did not score in 3 consecutive matches. In the 2-0 win over Nice on April 9, Mbappe missed a delicious opportunity after Messi’s favorable pass.
In 2023 alone, Mbappe reached 11 goals. However, five of them were against Pays de Cassel, a far lower achievement than what is expected of the highest-paid player in the French capital. Marca said Mbappe lost motivation when PSG were knocked out of the European Cup early, like the defeat to Real Madrid a year ago.
Coach Galtier thinks Mbappe has hip pain, so he doesn’t have the best ball feeling. L’Equipe scored the 24-year-old striker 3 points against Nice. “Did Mbappe really feel uncomfortable in his hips? A disappointing match,” the French newspaper said.
Mbappe not happy at PSG?
When the performance was not good, Mbappe caught the attention of the noise outside the pitch. The player born in 1998 publicly protested against the host team for arbitrarily using his image to promote the 2023/24 season ticketing campaign.
PSG president, Mr. Nasser Al-Khelaifi, was forced to have a talk with the PSG dressing room to solve the problems. The Parc des Prince club had to give in when removing the promotional video from all social media platforms.
PSG is trying to keep Mbappe. L’Equipe said the Paris capital team must pay a bonus of up to 60 million euros a year for Mbappe. In addition, the former Monaco player’s monthly salary is up to 6 million euros.
However, Mbappe’s future becomes unpredictable. AS reported that Mbappe wants to join Real Madrid in the summer of 2024. “Los Blancos” refused this offer. The Spanish Royal team will be waiting for Mbappe to come to the Bernabeu as a free agent in the summer of 2025. At that time, the French striker is about to turn 27 and is still capable of long-term dedication to Real.
On the contrary, PSG intends to create a competitive team around the French player, thereby really aiming for the chance to win the Champions League. However, it seems that Mbappe gradually lost faith. “We are disappointing again. How long will this disappointment last?”, Mbappe said after the defeat against Bayern.
It is reported that Mbappe feels betrayed and hurt by the French club’s leadership after promises that have not been fulfilled since the summer. Even when Mbappe is silent in front of the media, the actions and performances of the players on the field are enough to say a lot.
From the beginning of the season, Mbappe became the cause of many controversies at PSG. The French striker looks unhappy. At that time, the club performance was difficult to sublimate. “Mbappe is distancing himself from PSG,” Reuters concluded.