It is the last week of May, the usual date for the Champions League final, which Real Madrid and Liverpool will play in Saint Denis next Saturday, but it seems impossible for the focus to be put there. The Mbappé tsunami continues to attract media attention, not only because of the impact of his unexpected decision, but also because of the time chosen for his announcement, still in full competition for the whites, as well as because of his hangover, which seems to have no end. This Monday, at 3:00 p.m., the player will give a press conference with Nasser Al Khelaifi, in the Parc des Princes, to give all the appropriate explanations. Also, at nightfall, at 8:00 p.m., he will give an interview on the most popular news program on TF1.
And before, yesterday, he put an aperitif on the table with a letter that he published on his Twitter account in which, among other messages, he left one for Real Madrid:
"I would like to sincerely thank Real Madrid and its president Florentino Pérez. I recognize the luck and privilege of being wanted by such a great institution. I have no doubt of his disappointment, he is equal to my hesitation. I will be his first fan in the Champions League final, in Paris, my home," argued Mbappé, seeking to close a wound whose healing time seems long. No one can be sure right now that the door to Madrid has closed for Mbappé forever, because his new contract expires at just 26 years old, but it is clear that the last thing the white club and its people are thinking right now is to fight again for a footballer who has already stood him up twice.
In that same letter, the Frenchman also thanked Al Khelaifi and the PSG fans for their support, patience and affection, and explained his choice in a particular way: «From a very young age, instead of dreaming in life, I have I preferred to live my dreams. It is at once a choice, a principle and a privilege. From a very young age, I try to move forward, from challenge to challenge. From a very young age, I built myself a path to the top, whatever it was, but always on guard to respect a line of conduct in all areas. From a very young age, I have been inspired by the same passion and the same motivation. This sometimes causes misunderstanding, but I assume this sincerity that goes with my education»
On Saturday afternoon, minutes after a good number of national and international media reported Kylian Mbappé's final decision, Karim Benzema took a short break on his Saturday family holiday. Hand to mobile, finger to Instagram app and graphic message. The Frenchman uploaded a 'story' where he showed a photo of his bandaged hand with the index finger pointing to the sky, a sky in which the Real Madrid shield was. The meaning was evident: there is nothing and no one greater than the white club. Nor his close friend Kylian Mbappé.
The second captain of Real Madrid, like the rest of his teammates, received the French footballer's decision with disappointment. The pessimistic buzzer installed in the Valdebebas offices since last Tuesday also arrived at the first team locker room, aware that something important had happened in recent days that had put the operation in danger, but they did not quite believe that the story could make a 180 degree turn, as it was. Everyone was aware that Mbappé had already found a home in La Moraleja, next to Sergio Ramos' house. Karim's agency, 'Full Access', had been in charge of finding Kylian a home in Madrid that lived up to his expectations. Also to those of her ambitious mother, the family figure with the greatest power and influence over Mbappé, as described by those who know her.
Benzema's eloquent message on Instagram was echoed by more players from the Whites' squad such as Lucas Vázquez, Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr and Valverde. All of them with highly emotional messages and images, which is how the white season has been. The Uruguayan was the most forceful: "Being from Madrid is a privilege that not everyone can have," Fede wrote. Karim, already late on Saturday, contacted the 53 million followers he has on Instagram again to upload another story, this time more enigmatic but at the same time more powerful than the first. A photo of Tupac, a famous rapper from the end of the last century, who was murdered in Las Vegas in 1996. According to the investigations of that crime, which have never been proven, it was committed by his rival rappers from the East Coast, among which was The Notorius B.I.G., and had the unexpected help of friends of Tupac himself, who betrayed him to end his life.
But life, and football, continues, and the disenchantment of the Real Madrid locker room has no more course than cash. The white team, along with its coaching staff, start preparing for the Champions League final from today and there is nothing more important for an entity and a group of players than to win the most prestigious club tournament in the world, and for the fourteenth time. Tomorrow, UEFA has scheduled Madrid's 'media day', in which there will be an Ancelotti press conference, mixed zone and personalized interviews for televisions with rights and for the rest of the media. It will be difficult to avoid the Mbappé affair, but the final is the only thing that interests Madrid now.