Mbappe urged to leave PSG if he is to echo Ronaldo and Messi

By Sports Desk July 05, 2021

Kylian Mbappe has been urged to consider leaving Paris Saint-Germain by Nicolas Anelka if he wants to have the same global impact as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The 22-year-old has spent the past four seasons in the French capital but is out of contract in 2022 and has been strongly linked with Real Madrid, while Liverpool are also rumoured to be interested.

Former Monaco forward Mbappe raised further questions over his future when revealing last month he is unsure whether the Parc des Princes is the best place for him.

Those comments were made on the back of a disappointing 2020-21 campaign for PSG in which they failed to defend their Ligue 1 title and exited the Champions League in the semi-finals, though they did win the Coupe de France and Trophee des Champions.

On an individual level, Mbappe was as prolific as ever with 42 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions last time out, averaging one every 86 minutes for the French giants.

In Europe's top five leagues, only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (48) scored more goals in all competitions than Mbappe in 2020-21.

 

But former France international Anelka, who started his career with PSG before joining Arsenal in 1997, believes it is time for his compatriot to seek a new challenge elsewhere if he is to fulfil his career ambitions.

Writing a letter to Mbappe on The Athletic, Anelka said: "You have done so well since coming through at Monaco and taking it to a new level at Paris Saint-Germain. 

"You play at a team that has evolved into a big club capable of winning the Champions League. It seems you will stay for another year, then there is a big choice to make. 

"It is a bit more complicated for you than it was for me. You have at least two choices – stay in Paris or move to Real Madrid. Both of them can win the Champions League these days. When I was at PSG, that wasn't the case.

"That choice depends on what you want to achieve in football. If you want the biggest accolades, you will have to move from PSG at some point. 

"Whatever you do in Paris will be good, but somebody will always say, 'Well, you did great for PSG but it was only in France. The best leagues are in England and Spain, so you didn't compete with the best players in the best league.

"You will have to decide. If you want to win the Ballon d'Or, which is what you should be looking at to echo Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, you will have to compete with the best. 

"You can't say you compete with the best all the time when you are at PSG. The French league is not easy, don't get me wrong, but I think the toughest league is in England. 

"So, if you want to be one of the best, then do what you do in Paris but with Chelsea or United or Arsenal or Manchester City or Liverpool. Or go to Spain to Madrid or Barcelona. Or maybe Italy. Then we can speak about a more global impact."

 

Mbappe endured an underwhelming Euro 2020 campaign in which he failed to find the net in France's four matches before their shock last-16 exit at the hands of Switzerland, a game in which he missed the decisive penalty in the shoot-out.

He failed to score in the tournament despite taking 14 shots. At the point of France's tournament exit, only Cristiano Ronaldo (five goals from 15 shots) and Alvaro Morata (two goals from 15 shots) had taken more goal attempts.

It is the first time France failed to make it to at least the quarter-finals of a major competition since 2010 but Anelka, who won the European Championship with Les Blues in 2000, does not think the blame should lie with the attacking players.

"Football is a magnificent sport that remains unpredictable," he said. "Even if France had the best team on paper with a team capable of winning again, something was missing in the collective. 

"They had difficulties in defence. This France team was able to score goals at any time but was also able to concede at any time so that's what stopped them from going further in this tournament.

"The World Cup in Qatar is next year so there will be matches for France to try to make the tactical and collective repairs to compete, to win again. 

"France won the World Cup three years ago but the page has turned. This European Championship is another page that has to turn. Some new players might be integrated and this is a new chapter. 

"Many teams want to be world champions but there are not many examples of a country winning the World Cup twice in a row. It is easy to say, not easy to do."

Related items

  • Keegan Bradley putts his way to first round lead at the BMW Championship Keegan Bradley putts his way to first round lead at the BMW Championship

    Keegan Bradley rode a hot putter to the outright lead after 18 holes of the BMW Championship, finishing Thursday's play with a seven-under 64.

    Bradley entered the week ranked 44th in the FedEx Cup standings, outside the top-30 who will qualify for next week's Tour Championship, but put himself in a great position thanks in large part to his work on the greens.

    He collected six birdies on the front nine, and according to Data Golf's strokes gained stats, Bradley was the top overall putter in the opening round, picking up 4.00 strokes with the flat stick, while also coming in seventh in the approach category (2.02 strokes gained).

    It was a similar story for Adam Scott in outright second at six under, finishing third in putting (3.30 strokes gained) and 11th in approach shots (1.82 strokes gained).

    In a tie for third at five under is the trio of Harold Varner III, Shane Lowry and Justin Thomas – but they all made it there in different ways.

    Varner excelled in the tee-to-green category, putting a gap on the field as he gained 5.28 strokes, with Lowry in second-place at 3.32. While Varner was the third-best driver on the day, Lowry was actually a negative off the tee, but led the field in the approach category.

    Meanwhile, Thomas was solid just about everywhere, finishing on the fringe of the top-10 in tee-to-green, around the green and putting categories – despite lipping out a four-footer for his only bogey on the 15th hole.

    The logjam at four under includes Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Cameron Young, and there is a star-studded group one further back at three under featuring Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. McIlroy will be left ruing a calamitous showing at the par-three 15th hole, where he found the water to triple-bogey when he was one stroke off the lead.

    U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick headlines the group at two under, Hideki Matsuyama and Will Zalatoris are at one under, and recent 20-year-old winner Joo-hyung 'Tom' Kim is at even par.

    Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm will be disappointed with their rounds at two over, and the previously red-hot Tony Finau is likely out of the hunt as only two players shot worse than his six-over 77.

  • Ajax defender Timber ends transfer speculation with new contract through 2025 Ajax defender Timber ends transfer speculation with new contract through 2025

    After plenty of transfer speculation, Ajax have decided to lock up 21-year-old defender Jurrien Timber on an improved contract, adding one extra year to tie him to the club through 2025.

    Timber, who already has eight international caps for the Netherlands, has been with Ajax since 2014, and tallied 50 Eredivisie appearances across the past two seasons, netting four goals.

    He was one of three Ajax players that Manchester United and former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag showed strong interest in, having secured Lisandro Martinez and being priced out of a move for Antony.

    Timber was the recipient of last season's Marco van Basten Award for AFC Ajax Talent of the Year, following in the footsteps of recent winners Ryan Gravenberch, Sergino Dest and Matthijs de Ligt, who all proceeded to leave the Eredivisie in search of bigger challenges.

    He will be 24 when his new contract expires, and he will have another chance to impress in the European spotlight this season during Ajax's Champions League campaign.

  • West Ham 3-1 Viborg: Scamacca opens account as Hammers take command of ECL play-off tie West Ham 3-1 Viborg: Scamacca opens account as Hammers take command of ECL play-off tie

    Gianluca Scamacca scored his first West Ham goal as the Hammers established a commanding 3-1 lead over Viborg in the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off clash.

    Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio were also on target for the hosts at the London Stadium, with Jakob Bonde's header providing a consolation for the visitors ahead of next week's return leg in Denmark.

    The Hammers' fortunes were overseen by first-team coach Billy McKinlay, with manager David Moyes serving a touchline ban following his red card in last season's Europa League semi-final defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt.

    Vladimir Coufal wore the captain's armband in the absence of Declan Rice and Aaron Cresswell – both also serving continental suspensions – but the hosts took the lead in the 24th minute; Scamacca rising to head home Maxwel Cornet's inviting cross.

    They doubled their lead after 64 minutes as Bowen collected a loose ball, before brilliantly drilling low past Lucas Lund from 30 yards. The visitors halved the deficit five minutes later when Bonde arrived at the far post to nod home Christian Sorensen's centre.

    But substitutes Antonio and Said Benrahma combined to restore the hosts' two-goal buffer in the 78th minute. Benrahma embarked on a jinking run from the left flank, before squaring for Antonio to tuck into the empty net.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.