Kylian Mbappe spent his youth in the AS Monaco developmental system, and as a result, he became one of the most expensive players ever sold, moving to Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
But what if things had gone differently? According to a Bundesliga executive, they almost did. Very, very different.
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RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Ragnick told German publication Bild, “We had Kylian Mbappe all but signed.” At the time of his upbringing through the ranks at Monaco, Leipzig was in the 2.Bundesliga, having been brought up two leagues by manager Alexander Zorniger, but he stepped down in February 2015, with Mbappe potentially looking to leave Monaco.
“The problem was we had just parted ways with Alexander Zorniger. We didn’t know at the time who would be our coach and how it would continue.” 16-year-old Mbappe had an idea…Ragnick himself.
If Ragnick could ensure “that I would be coach, he would entrust me with the boy immediately. But I couldn’t give him that promise already in February.”
Achim Beierlorzer took over on an interim basis, and Mbappe would stay with Monaco. Ragnick became manager in the summer, spending a year in charge and earning them promotion to the Bundesliga, but it was too late, and the rest for Mbappe is history. Ragnick would step down a year later, but stayed on as sporting director there.
AS Monaco suffered its first draw of the season, falling from a winning position and leaving the door open for PSG to widen its lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table.
Falcao gave Monaco a 1-0 lead over Montpellier at home past the half-hour mark, pausing his run for just a moment to allow Ruben Aguilar to flow towards the ball, giving the Colombian time to receive the feed from Rony Lopes and poking home just enough to light up the Goal Line Technology.
However, the visitors proved worthy opponents, peppering the goal with 15 shots to Monaco’s eight, although only three of those on target. On the other end, the hosts did not manage another shot on target.
With Montpellier pushing for an equalizer, they pulled it off in stoppage time. Hilton looped a ball over the top of the Monaco back line, and the defenders switched off, allowing Souleymane Camara to sneak free and deposit Kévin Berigaud’s header into the back of the net to break Monaco’s hearts two minutes past regulation.
The sole point sees Monaco simply draw level with Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the table, with PSG still to host Bordeaux. Even those visitors to Parc des Princes could pull within one point with an upset victory.
PARIS (AP) Monaco says it won’t organize a trip for its fans to travel to Turkish side Besiktas when the clubs meet in the Champions League in November.
Monaco says the French body in charge of the fight against hooliganism has advised the club against bringing supporters to Istanbul.
Besiktas will be hosting Monaco on Nov. 1 in Group G of the Champions League.
Monaco says it won’t ask Besiktas to open the away fans area in the stadium and asked its fans not to travel on their own.
Kylian Mbappe, now a Paris Saint-Germain player after months and months of speculation, and many Monaco fans are left with a sour taste in their mouth about his departure.
The 18-year-old has addressed his final Monaco appearance, where he was booed while sitting among the substitutes for a 6-1 victory over Marseille. His message, posted on Twitter, is one of appreciation despite the rough ending.
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“I just wanted to thank you for all the love you gave me during our time together. Never have I been shown such affection, support, and strength,” Mbappe wrote.
“I know that some of you do not understand my choice and that a feeling of anger grows in you, I understand. I also understand some whistles during our last [game], because false information circulated throughout the ‘soap opera Mbappe.’ I have not changed, my entourage has not changed, our values remain the same: humility, simplicity and respect. One thing is for sure: you can be angry, hate or even whistle but you can never stop me from loving you because the truth is there, I love you.”
The message from Mbappe is starkly different from fellow French youngster and new Barcelona signing Ousmane Dembele who forced his way out of Borussia Dortmund, and Saturday he admitted he made up excuses to miss training in an effort to push club brass to sell him.
Mbappe scored 15 league goals and assisted 11 more in 29 Ligue 1 appearances last season as Monaco marched to the league title. He scored 26 goals across all competitions, with the club also reaching the Champions League semifinals, the semifinals of the Coupe de France, and the finals of the Coupe de la Ligue.
Ex-Monaco boss and current France national team manager Didier Deschamps says Kylian Mbappe is indeed staying in Ligue 1.
It’s been widely-reported that the 18-year-old Monaco star will go on loan to Paris Saint-Germain with an agreement that the Parisian club will buy the player after the season.
“He’s changing clubs but staying in Ligue 1,” Deschamps said Monday at France camp. “The future will say if he’s made a good decision.”
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Mbappe’s move further insures PSG’s role as favorites to reclaim the Ligue 1 crown, especially given that Monaco has sold Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy, Tieumoue Bakayoko, and Valere Germain, and may still sell Thomas Lemar.
Deschamps led Monaco to the UEFA Champions League Final in his first managerial stint, so it’s no surprise he may be skeptical about the move, especially with Real Madrid, Manchester City, and a host of other European giants play in deeper leagues and want the teenager. Oddly enough, Deschamps decent 49.3 winning percentage at Monaco is the lowest of his four gigs (Juventus, Marseille, France being the others).