Football: Kylian Mbappé, crowned best player of the Ligue 1 season, calms down his departure from PSG

A last one for the road

Football: Kylian Mbappé, crowned best player of the Ligue 1 season, calms down his departure from PSG

A last one for the road. Three days after announcing his departure from Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season, Kylian Mbappé won his final title as best player of the Ligue 1 season, Monday May 13, during the 32nd edition of the UNFP Trophies. Already crowned in 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023 – the trophy was not awarded in 2020 due to the premature end of the championship – the Parisian striker was elected by his peers for the fifth consecutive time.

It was at the Pavillon d'Armenonville, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, that Mbappé presented himself for the last time to the elite of French football to collect a trophy that he once again made his own. Less dominant in the game than in previous seasons, the Bondynois stood out thanks to statistical lines that are still impressive – 27 goals scored in 29 matches, while PSG still has two matches to play in the championship – which makes him stood out from the four other nominees for the title of best player.

His Parisian teammate Ousmane Dembélé, Pierre Lees-Melou (Brest), Edon Zhegrova (Lille) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Olympique de Marseille) had a slim hope of being elected. But this new success for Mbappé, who received the trophy from the hands of triple Olympic athletics champion Marie-José Pérec, left little doubt. It dedicates the farewell of the captain of the French team to Ligue 1, who only has three matches to play with PSG, two in the championship then the final of the Coupe de France against Olympique Lyonnais, on 25 may.

The day after his last match played at the Parc des Princes, marked by the absence of a tribute from Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappé had the privilege of closing the ceremony with a word addressed to the French public: “Thank you for your support, thank you for the love and recognition you have given me all these years and goodbye or see you soon. I will never be far away. »

“Leaving is a bit heartbreaking.”

Smiling during this last sequence, the future ex-Parisian took advantage of the presentation of his trophy to treat himself to a catch-up session. The opportunity to say, in due form, goodbye to French football and PSG, before joining a foreign club this summer. Exit the distant phrasing of the video published on his social networks Friday, in which he announced his departure from Paris at the end of the season. Mbappé is not the most demonstrative but appeared moved when recounting his eight full seasons played in Ligue 1, the last seven with PSG.

“I'm just a 25-year-old guy who's enjoyed all his years, who's come full circle and now wants to enjoy with all of you,” he said, not forgetting, this time, to mention without the name “the president” of PSG, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, in his thanks. The latter had not been cited by the attacker in his video and Mbappé's speech on Monday evening was eagerly awaited after the information revealed by Le Parisien, which Le Monde is able to confirm, of a clash between the two men, Sunday evening before the match against Toulouse.

A few minutes before rounding off the angles and smoothing out the communication surrounding his departure, Mbappé was greeted by Vincent Labrune, president of the Professional Football League: “What I remember is that Kylian stayed there ago seven years [when he signed for PSG]. He could have chosen to leave but he chose to stay in Ligue 1 to make PSG shine, make France shine and put lots of stars in the eyes of children. For all these unique moments, I would like to warmly thank you on behalf of French football. »

“Leaving breaks my heart a little because I'm going to leave my country that I've never left before. For me, it's a new life as a man,” said Mbappé, who recalled that playing in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games this summer would be a “waking dream,” before recalling the reality principle: The team he joins will have to agree to release him for the Olympic soccer tournament, something Real Madrid – who he will likely join – are not willing to do.

Eric Roy best coach

“The Olympic Games in France are very important, but I think we have to think as an adult and take the best solution for all parties. Whatever happens, I will be happy, assured the captain of the France team. It’s an important event that goes beyond whether I’m there or not. It's going to be an extraordinary party and I hope that everyone will show the whole world that France is a sporting country and that we can welcome people in the best possible way. »

Before Mbappé, most of the trophies awarded were trusted by PSG: Tabitha Chawinga was elected best player in D1 Arkéma, the women's football championship, Gianluigi Donnarumma won the trophy for best goalkeeper in Ligue 1 and Warren Zaire-Emery was crowned best hope.

The trophy for best coach was awarded to Eric Roy. “It’s important that through me, we can reward the club,” reacted the technician, who was able to lift Stade Brestois to the top places in the Ligue 1 standings and who hopes to qualify for the Champions League during the last day of this 2023-2024 season, Sunday.