Kylian Mbappe could fulfil his “dream” of playing for Real Madrid in the future and chose to remain at Paris Saint-Germain due to “political issues”, according to former Los Blancos forward Hugo Sanchez.
Mbappe had been widely expected to join Madrid on a free transfer before the 2018 World Cup winner elected to sign a blockbuster three-year extension to remain with PSG last month.
That decision irked senior figures at Madrid, with president Florentino Perez telling El Chiringuito the striker was “already forgotten” after Carlo Ancelotti’s men won a 14th Champions League title last month.
LaLiga have also gotten involved in the saga, with the league’s president Javier Tebas lodging a complaint about PSG’s spending with UEFA, accusing the Parisians of seeking to “destroy the ecosystem of European football”.
But Sanchez, who scored 208 goals in 283 appearances for Madrid between 1985 and 1992, winning five LaLiga titles and finishing as the league’s top goalscorer on five occasions, thinks Mbappe could still end up at the Bernabeu in the future.
“It’s very difficult to answer you, because I’m not in his head, in his brain, nor am I him,” he told Marca.
“But I sense that he didn’t say no to Real Madrid, but he told Real Madrid to ‘wait for me a little bit’.
“He has so many pressures, so many external situations, and maybe even family members have pressured him and influenced his decision to [not] choose Real Madrid. It was his wish [to join Madrid], it was his illusion, it was his dream, but that dream, as he said, well, the dream can wait a little while.
“I think he is showing signs that he wants to go to Real Madrid, but now, because of political issues, social issues… economic issues I don’t think they are, because he was going to earn a lot of money at Real Madrid, as he is going to earn a lot of money at PSG, so it is not because of money.
“Rather, he has not said no to Real Madrid, rather he said, ‘I cannot betray other types of situations that are stronger than money’. You have to understand that.”
Sanchez was also asked how his own talents compared to those of Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who has been widely tipped to win the Ballon d’Or after recording 59 goal involvements (44 goals, 15 assists) in 46 games last season.
But he refused to engage in such a debate, only saying that true footballing greats would shine in any era and that Brazilian legend Pele was his first idol.
“It is very difficult, these are answers that you must answer first and not me, because I am very respectful in terms of eras and times,” he said.
“What I am sure is that players like Pele and [Franz] Beckenbauer, who are older than me, would succeed in today’s soccer, and so would all the great players who have been participating in this wonderful sport.
“I feel that because of the physical conditions and the training and preparation that we have today, we can say that people nowadays, like Cristiano Ronaldo or [Lionel] Messi, if they had been born in the time of Pele, Beckenbauer, in our time, would be shining exactly the same way.
“The great talents and the great footballers, the successful people, I believe that they would succeed in any period.
“On my side, my reference was Pele, apart from other Mexican players who were playing professionally when I was a kid.”