Kylian Mbappe was booed by fans at Monday evening’s Ballon d’Or ceremony amid rumours he wants to leave Paris Saint-Germain.
The France international, 23, received a hostile reception when he arrived at the event in Paris. His desire to leave the French capital in January was reported last Tuesday, although he denied this after PSG’s 1-0 win against Marseille on Sunday evening.
Dozens of fans waited outside the Theatre du Chatelet to see football’s biggest stars arrive. Mbappe, who wasn’t expected to win the gong, turned up with his dad Wilfried. He finished sixth in vote, as Real Madrid star Karim Benzema claimed his maiden crown.
As Mbappe and his father stepped out their car, boos were heard by sections of the crowd. The reception is unsurprising considering the reports, even if the player has denied them.
“I’m very happy,” said the World Cup winner on Sunday evening. “I never asked for my departure in January. I was just as shocked as everyone else. There are people who may think I’m involved in this, but I’m not involved, I was taking a nap.
“My entourage was at my little brother’s game, all the people who take care of me weren’t there so we were flabbergasted when we heard about it. Afterwards, we had to deal with it, there was a game to play. Just to say that it is completely wrong, and I am very happy.”
Although Mbappe’s future remains a hot topic, Monday evening belonged to Benzema. The 34-year-old was the overwhelming favourite to claim the gong after winning the LaLiga title, Champions League, Supercopa de Espana and Nations League last term.
Benzema scored 44 goals in just 46 games and is set to play a key role for France at this year’s World Cup, alongside Mbappe. The latter is viewed by many as a future Ballon d’Or winner. His scoring record is equally as impressive, finding the net 39 times last term.
Mbappe was one of many footballers to congratulate Benzema on his achievement. “Congratulations brother,” he wrote on Instagram after the ceremony. “Deserved!”