Karim Benzema has stated that he is ‘not disappointed’ by Kylian Mbappe’s choice to reject Real Madrid’s offer.
Mbappe, Benzema’s compatriot, was generally expected to join Real on a free transfer this summer, but the 23-year-old shocked the football world last weekend when he signed a new three-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
The egg on Benzema’s face was a result of that decision, with the striker constantly and publicly promoting a move to the Bernabeu for his international teammate in recent months.
Despite his cryptic social media statements in the aftermath of the announcement, the current Real Madrid striker said he did not have any bad feelings about Mbappe’s decision and that it would not impact their friendship.
“I would have liked him to have been able to fulfil his dream of playing for Real Madrid, being together,” Karim Benzema told Telefoot.
“He chose PSG, we must respect him. It’s his choice, he has a lot of responsibilities. We will enjoy playing together in the national team. Everyone makes their own choices.
“Real Madrid are Real Madrid, I’m not disappointed. We are good friends, it won’t affect our relationship.”
After missing out on both Mbappe and Erling Haaland, who will join Manchester City, Real Madrid will be forced to chase other forwards this summer.
Why didn’t Mbappe sign a contract with Real Madrid?
Kylian Mbappe says he chose Paris Saint-Germain over Real Madrid for a three-year contract deal because of the club’s “sporting mission” rather than financial concerns.
At a press conference with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi on Monday, the forward denied that his desire to have a greater influence off the field had been discussed, although he did leave the door open to a possible exit in 2025.
“Everybody knows I wanted to leave last year. But things are different now, in sporting terms and personally,” Mbappe said. “Leaving my country wasn’t the right thing. There’s a sentimental aspect to this, and the sporting project has changed as well. … We spoke for months about the sporting project, and we spoke about money for just a few minutes.”
According to ESPN, the 23-year-old contacted Madrid president Florentino Perez to reveal his U-turn following days of doubt over his future.