a social phenomenon, beyond football

a social phenomenon, beyond football
a social phenomenon, beyond football

“Irreplaceable. » In a word, Marion, a Paris-Saint-Germain supporter for more than 15 years, sums up what world champion Kylian Mbappé represents, within the Parisian locker room. The captain of the Blues, who has just made his decision to leave the institution at the end of the year official on Friday May 10, leaves a feeling of emptiness among fans. “It’s normal that he wants other challenges, he who has won everything in France and who wants to win everything at all”estimates Marion. “For the club, it will be difficult to cope without him, as he has contributed so much. »

Societal phenomenon

And for good reason, the native of Bondy can boast of having won six French championships, three French Cups and two League Cups. The only trophy missing: the Champions League, of which he played in a final in 2020, against Bayern Munich. However, the top scorer in PSG history is not unanimous among Parisian supporters. For Aurélien, member of the Kop, his departure had become ” necessary “. “Every summer, the club was weighed down by rumors of departure. From now on, we will be able to approach the future without being subjected to her diva whims, he explains. That doesn’t take away anything he’s done. »

Because behind the statistics, Kylian Mbappé has become a social phenomenon that goes beyond the framework of football. “He is someone who built himself up by being ahead of everything, a bit like Emmanuel Macron, there are a lot of points in common between the two”notes Jean-Baptiste Guégan geopolitologist of sport and co-author of the book Mbappé revolution (1), with the journalist Clément Pernia. “He is precocious, hyperactive, and has an ego to match.”

One of the most powerful players in French football

Strongly accompanied by his family, nicknamed “the Mbappé clan”, number 7 considers football, “like a passion, but in a professional way”believes Clément Pernia. “It gives him a mechanical side, often with an absence of emotion. This is undoubtedly what explains why he arouses as much admiration as hatred or rejection among other supporters and why everyone has an opinion on him.”

When he missed a penalty during Euro 2020, effectively eliminating his team, Kylian Mbappé remained upright, despite the racist attacks he suffered in the following days. Later, the player expressed healthy anger by saying he was not supported by the French Football Federation (FFF). “From then on, his entire clan began to support him and demanded positions from the Federation, which he obtained. He has become a powerful player if not the most powerful in French football”, summarizes Jean-Baptiste Guégan. A rare profile that arouses passions and which, in fact, represents a considerable market value.

Economic challenge

Last February, the strategy consulting firm Circle Strategy conducted a study to assess the economic and sporting repercussions of this loss for the Parisian club and thus revealed the exceptional return on investment for Kylian Mbappé. If his contract with the Parisian club represents seven times the amount of that of an average player, it also brings in much more. “We compared him to around twenty other players and, looking at the revenues and costs of each, we realized that Mbappé was well at the top of the list”explains Jean-Marc Liduena, general manager of Circle Strategy. “He has created nearly 40 million in net worth since his arrival, compared to a loss, on average per player, of 18 million. »

If his departure gives the club the opportunity to reinvest in several other players, “it won’t be the same yield, warns the manager. The replacements might not be French, not be as appreciated by the public or simply not be as efficient. Ultimately, we raise the question of PSG’s business model which is based on mega stars and which must necessarily reinvent itself.

The revenue was also good for France, since the player’s contracts generated around 100 million euros per year in taxes over the last few years. “If PSG invests in other players and there are no specific tax agreements between foreign countries, France can find itself there”specifies Jean-Marc Liduena, for whom the impact will be “more decisive on television rights”. In the midst of negotiations for the coming years, the absence of the 3rd in the last Ballon d’Or could weaken the interest of advertisers for the French championship. However, we will have to get used to it: Kylian Mbappé will now play abroad.

(1) Mbappé Revolution; Jean-Baptiste Guégan & Clément Pernia; Éditions Michel Lafon, (235p) €18.95

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