The well-placed media briefing: classic. Refusing to turn up for pre-season training: an old favourite. Few players, however, have gone to the trouble of commissioning a 220-page graphic novel purely for the purpose of earning a move to Real Madrid.
One didn’t need to a be a literature scholar to glimpse the subtext of “Je M’Appelle Kylian”, the comic-book autobiography released by Kylian Mbappé in November in collaboration with the illustrator Faro. The young Mbappé makes no secret of his desire to play for Real Madrid when he is older, to the point where in one early passage he is even visited in a dream by Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane. In the dream Ronaldo and Mbappé do keepie-uppies while Zidane hands him a freshly-laundered white Madrid kit. Later Mbappé is invited to Madrid for real, an experience he describes as “the best of his life”.
Later still Mbappé is at Monaco when Paris SaintGermain come in with a bid. “Are you sure about your choice?” Mbappé’s mother asks him. “You know that Madrid still want to sign you. You’re not going to get bored in Ligue 1?” At which point Mbappé’s representatives inform them they are close to an agreement with PSG that will see Mbappé earning €18 m a year plus bonuses. “Ummm, that’s not bad,” Mbappé grimaces, with a grudging acceptance that the wheels of this transfer had been irrevocably set in motion.
I mean, as graphic metaphor goes, Maus this is not.
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