Who would have thought that producing a graphic novel would be among the things that make Kylian Mbappe unique?
At age 23, the French forward has been the focus of attention for most of his professional career. Since his fantastic Champions League performance with Monaco in the 2016-17 season, Mbappe’s star status has only grown larger and larger.
Mbappe has always been on the lookout for a brighter future. Well aware that Monaco would never be a perennial Champions League contender, he pushed for a move to a bigger club in 2017.
Real Madrid were close to snatching Mbappe, but the Parisian would end up signing for PSG. Five years later, his Paris move has cemented his legacy as one of the best strikers of the century.
In 197 games with PSG, Mbappe has registered 150 goals and 76 assists. His numbers make almost every other striker in the world look like a Sunday league amateur.
Why did Kylian Mbappe publish a graphic novel?
Despite his young age, it really feels like Mbappe has been around forever. He certainly has a fascinating story to tell already – and legions of fans who are more than happy to listen.
Or, in this case, to read. Like with many other elite athletes, Mbappe’s story has come out in book form. However, Kylian Mbappe is not your average football player.
When it comes to athletes’ biographies, cliché remains supreme. A quick glance at the sports section in a bookshop will reveal that most football stars have published a book. Because hiring an experienced ghost-writer is common practice, these biographies all tend to read almost exactly the same.
Instead of taking the easy way out, Mbappe rejected making yet another boring autobiography and decided to publish his story as a graphic novel.
A collaboration with the comic book designer Faro, “Je m’appelle Kylian” (My Name is Kylian) is a 223-page account of Mbappe’s life from his early days to his PSG stint.
Kylian Mbappe offers two key revelations in his graphic novel. The first one is that, even when he was a teenager, he espoused rare belief in himself. From a young age, he saw himself sharing the big stage with the best football players in the world.
Mbappe keeps teasing Madrid fans with his autobiography
The second revelation is that his Real Madrid obsession reached unimaginable heights. Madrid was on his mind even when unconscious. The novel sees him daydreaming about wearing a Madrid uniform and meeting Cristiano Ronaldo.
More surprisingly, “Je m’appelle Kylian” offers an explicit account of Mbappe’s visit to Real Madrid’s training ground when he was only 14.
His nervous first meeting with Zinedine Zidane is one of the highlights of the book, with Kylian mumbling and awkwardly making small talk with his hero.
However, Mbappe’s dream move didn’t come to fruition then. The graphic novel also details Madrid’s second attempt at signing Mbappe in 2017, with his family strongly advising that a move to PSG would indefinitely postpone his childhood fantasy.
As the story goes, Mbappe would choose PSG over Madrid. The Parisians challenged him to become a hometown hero, and the striker accepted.
Five years after his move to Paris, Mbappe is closer than ever to realising his childhood dream. In an effort to tie him to a long-term contract, PSG have desperately thrown money at him to no avail.
Mbappe has rejected every extension offer that PSG has put on the table. He is widely expected to join Real Madrid in July after his botched transfer request to La Liga last summer.
As his contract ends at the end of the season, it is entirely possible that Mbappe has already signed a pre-agreement with Real.
However, reports in Spain suggest that Los Blancos will keep everything under wraps at least until their Champions League draw against PSG.
Featured image credit: Getty