After the immediate reactions to Kylian Mbappe’s decision to snub a Real Madrid transfer in order to stay with PSG after using Real’s name to boost his own power and financial status, many Madridistas couldn’t help but wonder what his close friend and national teammate Karim Benzema thought about the decision. Would Benzema see the way Mbappe went about the transfer as a betrayal?
The face-to-face between Mbappe and Benzema on the French national team will be the real story, but we did get to hear some of what Benzema thinks in different interviews on Tuesday.
"“Betrayed by Mbappé? Why? Everyone has to be focused on their things. Mbappé or other players have no reason to call me. Each one decides his future. Each one does what he wants.”"
He would have a right to feel betrayed on some level, but he is also right to say that it was Mbappe’s decision to make. It is his future to decide. From a neutral perspective, though, it would be nice for Mbappe to have some guts and tell Benzema personally why he did what he did. For the better of the national team with the World Cup ahead, they need to keep a good, professional relationship, even if the nature of their relationship may have to change.
Karim Benzema may have taken a slight shot at Kylian Mbappe
Because in an interview with Movistar+, Benzema struck a different, more bitter tone. He was not insulting, but his word choice definitely stood out:
"“Mbappé? It’s not the time to talk about those tiny little things.”"
You could also translate it as “very little”, but the point remains. Benzema used a variation of “little” to emphasize how insignificant Mbappe’s transfer decision is in the grand scheme of things. And with the Champions League Final on the horizon – everything to play for- you can logically understand that.
Emotionally, though, you have to think that Mbappe’s decision was not a very little thing. Benzema was a major advocate for Mbappe going to Madrid in public and would often praise him, including when things were tense between Mbappe and Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
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So you can sense that edge from Benzema when talking about Mbappe. Time may heal this wound, but you can tell that there is a friction between them. Like many Madridistas, Benz is hurt and does not want people picking at this fresh wound.