For the first time since the Kylian Mbappe saga was concluded, Real Madrid President Florentino Perez agreed to a no-holds-barred interview about the topic among many others. Speaking to Spanish programme “El Chiringuito” on Wednesday, Perez slammed French President Emmanuel Macron for pressuring Mbappe to stay with Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain.

After a year of negotiations and a tug-of-war between PSG and Real Madrid, Mbappe ultimately decided to sign a contract extension with his current club. The decision shocked many in the football world, especially after the player admitted last summer that it is his dream to play for Los Blancos and that he wanted to make the move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

“It didn’t make sense that the President of the Republic [Emmanuel Macron] was calling him… This influenced him a lot, most definitely,” said Perez, referring to Macron’s own admission that he told Mbappe to stay in Paris. However, the politician defended his actions by saying that he was only protecting the interests of his country and that he was giving an honest and candid opinion about what the player should do.

Kylian Mbappe poses with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi after announcing he is staying at the club until 2025 AFP / Anne-Christine POUJOULAT

For Perez, the conversation with Macron put pressure on Mbappe to stay in France. “He transmitted his dream to play at Real Madrid. And it’s true. Last August PSG didn’t want to sell. We waited a year and he kept saying the same thing. Fifteen days before the situation changed because of the political pressure and the economic factor,” said Perez, as quoted by Marca.

Speaking of the economic factor, PSG had also been vocal about doing everything to convince the player to stay, and that included a lucrative new deal. Perez claims that Mbappe “changed” and chose the easy route. “The Mbappe I wanted was the one that dreamed of Real Madrid,” he concluded.

Real Madrid fans are livid about the snub, and many are adamant that after Mbappe’s new deal with PSG expires, he would no longer be welcome at the Bernabeu. For his part, Perez did not want to close the door entirely. “Signing him in three years? I don’t know… in the space of 3 years, we could all be bald,” he said.

Florentino Perez
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez AFP / JAVIER SORIANO