Mbappé declares his 'immense pleasure' at joining Real Madrid after unhappy end to PSG career

Kylian Mbappé spoke Tuesday of his “immense pleasure” at finally joining Real Madrid and felt his time at Paris Saint-Germain came to a sad end.

Madrid has reached a widely expected deal with the France star, bringing together a prolific scorer and a record 15-time Champions League winner.

“Finally, it's official, I am going to be a Real Madrid player for the next five years. It's an immense pleasure, a dream coming true, a lot of emotions," Mbappé said at a pre-match news conference in Metz where France hosts Luxembourg on Wednesday ahead of the European Championship. “I’m very, very happy (and) relieved, very proud to be joining a club where I’ve always dreamed of being.”

Mbappé's seven years at PSG came to a somewhat difficult end, and his final season started and ended amid tensions.

He was left out of a pre-season tour to Japan in July after not taking up the option of a one-year contract extension, and then initially left out of the squad as the club insisted he could not leave for free and would be sold.

Mbappe was dropped from the squad for the opening league game of the season and feared he would not be playing at all.

“I was told that, I was made to understand it, things were very clear. I was aggressively spoken to. I was convinced I would not play (that season),” said Mbappé, who praised the intervention of coach Luis Enrique and PSG's soccer advisor Luis Campos on his behalf. “Without them I would never have played.”

Mbappé informed club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi in February that he was leaving at the end of the season. But when the player made it official that he would not sign another deal with PSG, he did so in a video posted on X and not through the club's communications department.

There was no ceremony prepared by the club for Mbappé’s final home game against Toulouse, where he was jeered by some fans.

“I wasn’t unhappy at PSG, that would be to spit in the soup (to be ungrateful)," Mbappé said. “(But) some things and some people made me unhappy.”

Mbappé did not give names.

His relationship with Al-Khelaifi reportedly grew increasingly tense when it became clear Mbappé would not sign a contract extension, despite PSG offering him the most lucrative deal in the club’s history when he signed a new contract in 2022.

Although he scored 44 goals in 48 games and won the French league and French Cup double, Mbappé was not always at his best this season.

He was largely ineffective in the Champions League semifinal defeat to Borussia Dortmund, failing to score in both legs and trudging off the field after PSG went out.

“Someone who's happy has more chance of playing well but there are no excuses for some of my performances,” Mbappé said. “It wasn’t as high as my usual standards. Yet just to play, to win trophies was my biggest pride. But next season I won’t be satisfied with a season like that.”

Although tensions at PSG affected him, Mbappé said that someone in his position should not complain too much.

“I'm very well paid to play soccer. There are a lot of people who are paid a lot less to work in a factory,” he said. “It would be inappropriate for me to complain to the world, when there are horrible things happening in the world. That's how I've been brought up.”

Mbappé leaves PSG as its all-time record scorer with 256 goals and will captain France at the June 14-July 14 Euros. ___

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