Kylian Mbappé responded curtly on social networks to Noël Le Graët, Sunday January 8, after controversial remarks about Zinédine Zidane. A new embarrassing public position against the boss of the FFF.
He caused lyrical flights during the World Cup final. Kylian Mbappé probably caused a few more this Sunday, January 8, when the latter cropped very curtly on Twitter Noël Le Graët, president of the French Football Federation (FFF). In the program Bartoli Time on RMC Sport, the boss of the FFF had just made “clumsy” remarks according to his own entourage, on Zinedine Zidane. “Zidane in Brazil? I don’t care, he can go where he wants! He can go where he wants, in a club… selection, I hardly believe it as far as he is concerned” launched Noël Le Graët, adding that he would not have answered Zizou on the phone if the latter had contacted him.
“Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that”, simply launched the PSG striker a few minutes after the interview on the social network. This public speaking, the only one from the current France team, has been welcomed by many French journalists and personalities.
Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) January 8, 2023
Kylian Mbappé’s reaction and the outcry caused by his statements forced Noël Le Graët to issue an apology statement to Zinedine Zidane on Monday 9 January. “I gave an interview to RMC that I shouldn’t have given because he was looking for controversy by opposing Didier to Zinédine Zidane, two monuments of French football. I admit that I made awkward remarks which created a misunderstanding. Zinédine Zidane knows the immense esteem I have for him, like all French people.” Enough to put out the fire?
A heavy dispute on the issue of racism
The love for the Blues jersey is stronger than anything for Kylian Mbappé and the last World Cup as well as his infinite sadness at the end of the lost final proved it. But the striker of the France team has often had divergent opinions for several months with the FFF in general and with Noël Le Graët in particular and could threaten to no longer wear this tunic as long as the president of the FFF does not leave his functions.
During an interview for Sports Illustrated in November 2022, Kylian Mbappé indicated that he could have stopped playing with the Blues after suffering racist insults following his missed shot on goal against Switzerland in the round of 16 of the Euro. The lack of consideration of the FFF would then have almost changed everything before he changed his mind. But Mbappé will keep a bitter memory of this episode and will make it known after an interview with Noël Le Graët at the JDD. While in the weekly, the president of the FFF had emphasized the missed penalty to explain the hateful remarks towards the striker, Kylian Mbappé had replied, already on Twitter at the time: “Yes finally I told him especially well explained that it was in relation to racism and NOT to the penalty. But he considered that there had been no racism … “
‘I can’t play for people who think I’m a monkey. I’m not going to play anymore. But afterwards, I took the reflection with all the people who play around me and encourage me, and I think that it was not the right message to give up”, had still explained the striker to Sport Illustrated. “Because I think I am an example for everyone. It’s the new France. … That’s why I didn’t quit the national team. Because it is a message to the younger generation to say: “We are stronger than that”.
Nothing is going well between Mbappé and Le Graët
By speaking on image rights last year and then just before the departure of the Blues for Qatar in the fall, the native of Bondy had already shown his dissatisfaction with the management of Christmas Le Graët, on another ground this time. The star striker of the Blues had notably threatened not to participate in the photo session of the France team, scheduled for Tuesday, September 20, in order to modify the convention of the rights to the image of the players with the Federation. A request that had been made in March 2022, as his lawyer had indicated.
“It is important that the players are in harmony with the advertisements in which they participate. They have a role model for their young audience. This role must be handled with care”, confided Maître Delphine Verheyden. Under pressure from the Parisian, the FFF had finally agreed to quickly revise the latter and a new text was signed just before the kick-off of the World Cup 2022.