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Mbappé is now the most important footballer in the world

From rejection to Real Madrid to NBA deal, the Paris star is now a global phenomenon

Mbappé is now the most important footballer in the world  From rejection to Real Madrid to NBA deal, the Paris star is now a global phenomenon

There is a time when suddenly the landscape around us changes, and traditions we thought were carved in stone begin to crumble. It is a feeling that European football is now experiencing, accustomed for more than a decade to living in the duopoly of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. This summer, however, the decisive turning point seems to have arrived, that generational change that was expected but never really happened thanks to the young French star. Kylian Mbappé has certainly not waited patiently for his turn, he pushed Monaco to a national title already as a teenager and won a World Cup not even 20 years old with France, he is the best player of one of the strongest teams in the world in which he takes the field along with Messi and Neymar. In short, Mbappé has always been a predestined player who has burned through the ranks like grass on the left flank, signing sponsorship deals with the biggest brands on the planet and becoming the youngest ever to appear on the cover of FIFA in 2021.

But never more than in this summer are we witnessing a passing of the baton, with Kylian Mbappé poised to be crowned as the new King of European football. A season that has seen him absolute protagonist, especially off the field with the big rejection to Real Madrid and Florentino Perez just when it all seemed already closed. An affront to the fresh Champions League-winning team that shows great awareness of its own means and boundless ambition, wanting to stay in Paris to create its own legacy instead of leaning on the Blancos' millennial one. "Last year I wanted to leave, everyone knows that and I thought it was the best choice at the time. Things change though, today the context is different, both sportingly and personally," Mbappé wrote in the social post with which he announced his decision, which was certainly not accepted willingly in Spain. 

By renouncing the Madridites' pharaonic offer, which they would have torn their clothes off to dress him in white, paradoxically the talented Frenchman gained further power, using it as leverage to get everything he wanted from Paris. Already the usual rumors have leaked out that Mbappé has asked Nasser Al-Khelaïfi to take out a number of disliked teammates, certifying his new role as monarch of the Paris team. Of course, these are only inferences, put out by the Spanish press, but there is no doubt how in staying the transalpine striker demanded terms of regard. Not only economic, as after all Real had also promised, but above all decisional and managerial within the club and regarding the use of his image.

In fact, Mbappé is not only an exciting footballer, but during his young yet rapid career he has already managed to build a dimension beyond the field that is just as successful. He has become the face of a number of highly prestigious brands: Nike, Dior - which incidentally is also the official formal suit sponsor of Paris-, Oakley, and Hublot have all chosen the Frenchman as their official testimonial, associating in some cases for the first time with the football's world. Just in the last few days it has struck a new deal, this time with Sorare, the NFT trading card fantasy sports game, which already has Gerard Piqué, Rio Ferdinand and Serena Williams among its testimonials. A revolution that Mbappé embodies to perfection by departing from the model of Messi and Ronaldo, never really comfortable playing such a role off the field, and looking explicitly at the model of overseas sports. 

In fact, it is no secret the PSG champion's passion for the NBA, which over the years has led to numerous collaborations such as one with LeBron James - from whom he perhaps even stole the idea for The Decision - for a collection that combined soccer and basketball. And just last week Mbappé was at New York's Madison Square Garden for Draft 2022 with 15 kids from his foundation as part of an agreement between the NBA and his content company Zebra Valley to create audiovisual products dedicated to sports, art, music, and youth culture. And between photos with Adam Silver and upcoming talent set to join the league, Kylian Mbappé took another step toward internalizing his personal brand, ready to become the next emperor of European football.