The multinational Mbappé plays the first big game of its new era | Soccer | Sports


Kylian Mbappé appears at Anoeta tonight (9:00 p.m., Movistar) to defend the 2-0 obtained by PSG in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 at the Parc des Princes in an unusual legal situation. He does so under conditions that for any of his professional colleagues would involve exposing themselves to a serious occupational risk. After refusing to exercise his right to extend his contract with Paris Saint-Germain, the Frenchman attends his first big game as a free player. Without a contract that formalizes his relationship with an employer starting in July. Without a safety net in use. In a legal limbo that would expose any footballer to an accident, illness or disabling injury leaving him unemployed. This is not the case of Mpabbé. At 25 years old, the Frenchman has built a multinational economic empire. His relationship with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Thani, his patron until June, is so splendid that, according to the player’s agents, he has nothing to fear. PSG will always be his home.

“If something happened to him, Kylian would always have a PSG renewal on the table,” says a source close to his representatives, led by lawyer Delphine Vertheyden.

Mbappé’s deal with the princes of Qatar, very tense last summer after he announced that he would leave in 2024, calmed down when he renounced the collection of 80 million euros of the loyalty bonus that, legally, he would have been entitled to collect in the fall . The money belonged to the last payment of a bonus of around 200 million euros, the equivalent of a transfer bonus, which PSG promised to pay him in 2022 just for signing his renewal for two years with the option of a third. Mbappé collected 130 million and forgave him the rest in consideration of the spirit of an agreement that stipulated his stay in Paris until 2025.

Mbappé mess

Advised by his lawyers, the footballer understood that omitting copper from that money was the best way to respond to the generosity of his Qatari bosses. According to sources close to him, in addition to the 130 million loyalty bonus, for salary and image rights, Mbappé earned 75 million euros net in each of his last two seasons at PSG. The image rights are obtained through his foundation. A part derives from Qatari companies. And the most important thing, according to his lawyers and accountants, is PSG’s policy in this matter: the club does not collect even 1% of the advertising contracts that the player signs. This, as in 2022, continues to be the main obstacle in his negotiations with Real Madrid, his favorite destination. For two decades, Madrid has retained 50% of the image rights of all members of its squad, including Cristiano.

Mbappé’s team of advisors negotiates on the most favorable scenario that a sports superstar has ever found in the field of marketing. This is confirmed by specialists in evaluating athletes in the sponsorship industry who prefer anonymity. Simon Biles, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Nadal, Federer, Messi, Cristiano, Le Bron James and Stephen Curry, observe, shared the same bag in an advertising market of companies eager to relate to the unique youthful and spectacular image that idols provide. of sport. They assume that in the next decade Mbappé, the image of Nike and EA Sports, will have less competition than his predecessors. The old glories retire. The Frenchman and his entourage know it and do the math. This increases its value.

150 million euros annually in income from image rights

Whether he stays at PSG or signs for Madrid, his advisors project income from image rights of around 150 million euros on average per year. If he signs for a Premier club, they warn, the amount would rise to 200 million without filters. Neither Liverpool nor United, two clubs that were interested in him, retain image rights to the players. For Mbappé, they clarify, what makes him most excited is going to Madrid. But everything is up in the air. According to his agents, Madrid offers him a salary of 40 million net, give him 75% of his image rights and keep 25%. But at a rate of 15 million for each fraction of 10%, this would raise the club’s 25% retention to an average of about 40 million per season. Delphine Vertheyden, the lawyer, and Fayza Lamari, his mother, refuse to give in.

Mbappé thinks about all this and thinks about the things that Luis Enrique demands of him, which are many and varied. sometimes like nine, sometimes as an extreme. In the club there are up to three disagreements for tactical reasons between the striker and the Spanish coach, whose changing character has lit the fuse of discord. The first two conflicts were resolved cordially. Now they are going through the third crisis. Mbappé and the coach show signs of not understanding each other very well. Ligue 1 is witness. He was substitute in Lille, substitute in Nantes, substituted in Rennes and substitute in Monaco, successively. The emir of Qatar hopes to see him in the starting team tonight against Real Sociedad. But Luis Enrique appears mysterious. “Maybe yes, maybe no; “Who knows?” the coach said yesterday.

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