Mbappé farewells the French league when PSG visits Metz in final round


PARIS (AP) — Nine years after his debut, Kylian Mbappé bids farewell to the French league when Paris Saint-Germain visits struggling Metz on Sunday.

He has a last chance to add to his club-record tally of 256 goals, including 191 in the league.

“A page is turning, a chapter of my life is closing,” the 25-year-old Mbappé said after being voted by his peers as the French league’s best player for the fifth time. “I leave with my head held high, having done all that I could.”


PSG's Kylian Mbappe, centre, celebrates with his teammates PSG's French League One title after the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Toulouse at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Sunday, May 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, centre, celebrates with his teammates PSG’s French League One title after the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Toulouse at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Sunday, May 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The French Cup final on May 25 against Lyon will be his last game in a PSG jersey, then Mbappé makes a widely expected move to join Spanish giant Real Madrid.

Mbappé and Madrid have yet to announce the deal.

MBAPPE’S RISE

“I will miss it,” Mbappé said of playing in France. “It’s the only league I’ve known.”

Mbappé was approaching his 17th birthday when he went on as a substitute for Monaco at Stade Louis II in December 2015. A few months later he scored his first goal, breaking France great Thierry Henry’s record as the club’s youngest scorer.

He hadn’t even signed his first professional contract yet but the secret was out that there was a star in the making; a talent not seen in Ligue 1 since Karim Benzema broke into the Lyon side at 17.

The following season, Mbappé’s goals helped Monaco win Ligue 1 and reach the Champions League semifinals.

GOALS GALORE

This has been his second straight season with 40 or more goals and third overall. With two games left to play, he has a career-high 44.

Mbappé played alongside stars like Neymar, Ángel Di María, Edinson Cavani and Lionel Messi, and won six league titles with PSG. He will also finish as the league top scorer for the sixth time, and fifth outright after sharing the 2020 award with Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder.

Mbappé confirmed last Friday he is leaving at season’s end, having already told PSG in February.

He felt emotional when highlights of his career in French soccer were shown on a big screen during Monday night’s awards ceremony.

“When I looked at the footage it felt like a part of my life (was) being extinguished,” he said. “There’s the excitement about discovering something new but also emotion; the sentiment of leaving my country behind and carrying on my path.”

The path hasn’t always been smooth.