1) Kylian Mbappé’s mother denies holding secret meetings with journalists during Euros (Thurs)
Fayza Lamari, the mother of Kylian Mbappé, has reacted to a passage in journalist Baptiste Desprez’s book about France’s Euro 2020 campaign, which claims that she held informal meetings with the press on her son’s place in the national team. Lamari has refuted this allegation, stating that “if I want to keep a secret, I avoid telling it to media professionals”. She goes on to explain that informal meetings had taken places with journalists, but these had only consisted of initial contacts, “nothing more”.
The passage had indicated that the PSG striker’s parents, notably his mother, would hold discussions in a Budapest café on various subjects. During these meetings, the Mbappés would get across messages about life in the Les Bleus dressing room, and their son’s place in Didier Deschamps set-up, which was reportedly not up to the expectations of his entourage. Lamari ends her statement suggesting that the author give a portion of his royalties to a foundation of which Mbappé is one of the benefactors.
2) Angers-Marseille ends in clashes between fans (Wed)
RMC reported that, during the clashes between Angers and Marseille fans at the end of Wednesday night’s 0-0 result, OM fans descended onto the pitch to confront the home support. Angers fans are said to have set off firecrackers in the opposing supporters’ direction during the game, a move reciprocated by the Marseille support before taking to the pitch. Despite the stadium announcer’s call for fans to remain calm, the incidents descended into a brawl and stadium equipment was damaged, with security at the stadium overwhelmed by the events.
RMC add that Marseille had filed an observation before the start of the game, noting that for them it appeared “too easy for supporters to go onto the pitch”. The incidents are the latest in a long line of crowd trouble this season – from the Nice-Marseille mass brawl to the Lens fans’ pitch invasion last weekend. Another incident took place on the same evening across the country as various Metz fans ran onto the pitch at the end of their 2-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain.
3) Three of the world’s top four footballing earners are PSG players (Wed)
Forbes have released their annual list of the world’s top footballing earners over the last year with PSG heavily represented in the top ten rundown.
PSG new signing Lionel Messi (34) places second on the list with $110m in earnings having been usurped from top spot by 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s $125m after the Portuguese re-joined Manchester United this summer. A large chunk of both players’ earning are derived from commercial endorsements and, while Messi’s earnings from salary exceeded Ronaldo’s despite taking a pay cut to join PSG, only Roger Federer, LeBron James and Tiger Woods of the world’s active athletes earn more than Ronaldo commercially. Both players have now passed the $1bn mark in career earnings, however.
Neymar takes third spot with $95m in earnings before a big jump down to fellow PSG forward Kylian Mbappé in fourth with $43m. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah rounds out the top five. A surprise comes via 37-year-old former Barcelona midfielder Andrés Iniesta, now with J-League club Vissel Kobe, who’s $35m sees him take seventh on Forbes’ top ten list. Manchester United’s France international midfielder Paul Pogba ($34m) placed eighth.
4) Chelsea made summer attempts to sign Marquinhos (Tues)
RMC Sport reported this week that Chelsea had made an attempt this summer to sign Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Marquinhos, although the Premier League side’s approaches were eventually turned down both by the Brazilian and his club.
The Londoners are said to have been ready to offer up to €100m for the 27-year-old, who is beginning his ninth season in Paris and is now club captain.
The Brazilian is not interested in leaving the club, despite the promise of joining former teammate and compatriot Thiago Silva again as part of the Blues’ centre-back pairing.
5) Jean-Michel Aulas on Neymar’s penalty against Lyon: “It’s an aberration.” (Sun)
Speaking to OLTV in the wake of his team’s 2-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain last weekend, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas decried the hotly debated penalty awarded to the hosts with Les Gones in the lead.
OL right-back Malo Gusto initially seemed to bring Neymar down from behind in the box, before replays showed the Brazilian had dragged the Frenchman down with him. The penalty was converted, before Mauro Icardi’s late winner sealed the three points in dramatic fashion.
“We’re very proud of our players tonight. We managed to make this PSG team very uncomfortable. The penalty is an aberration. VAR should have intervened. It’s not a normal decision.”