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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Breaking Down the Winners and Losers of Mbappé to Real Madrid

  • The French superstar is leaving PSG on a free transfer.
  • His contract with the Spanish powerhouse is smaller than it could have been.
Alexis Reau/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports

The dust is settling on Real Madrid’s long-awaited signing of French soccer superstar Kylian Mbappé (above, left), who is leaving Paris Saint-Germain, but there’s still plenty to unpack off the pitch. The move brings an official end to a complicated, years-long saga involving billions of dollars and the most powerful entities in the sport.

What We Know

Mbappé’s new contract at Madrid, this year’s LaLiga and UEFA Champions League winner, is for five years, with the player taking home roughly $16.3 million annually in salary, after taxes, on top of getting a $163 million signing bonus, according to ESPN. He is also due to receive 80% of revenue from his image rights associated with new commercial deals, compared to the standard 50% for most players, which could boost his earnings significantly. 

In 2022, Mbappé signed an extension with PSG that The New York Times reported would pay him at least $75 million in salary over the course of his contract, after taxes, in addition to a $125 million bonus. The Frenchman had played for PSG since ’17, when the Ligue 1 powerhouse paid a $195 million transfer fee to acquire the then teenager from AS Monaco.

What Could’ve Been

While all of those numbers are staggering, they still fall short of last summer’s $1.1 billion offer for Mbappé. That came from Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal, which was willing to pay PSG a transfer fee of roughly $330 million and give Mbappé around $770 million for one season of service. However, amid the SPL’s run on top European players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, Mbappé chose to stay put and forgo the unprecedented payday.

In the end, Mbappé’s journey is a huge financial win for Madrid, which brings on one of the world’s best players at no additional cost. Last year, the Spanish club paid more than $100 million to sign midfielder Jude Bellingham away from Borussia Dortmund. And the move is a clear loss for PSG, which doesn’t recoup any monetary prize for the exit of Mbappé. That was also the case when Lionel Messi left for Inter Miami a year ago, although PSG did not have to pay a transfer fee for the Argentine legend in 2021.

Moreover, beyond the recent Saudi interest, Madrid made several attempts to sign Mbappé in 2021, with reports at the time suggesting a transfer fee approaching $200 million was on the table.

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