Saturday, June 25

Mbappe and Luis Campos: Both turn down Real Madrid to partner up at PSG

Both Kylian Mbappe and Luis Campos had been expected to work together at Real Madrid next season, but, ultimately, they will do so at Paris Saint-Germain.

As recently as the weekend of May 13 to May 15, they had the intention and the desire to be at Real Madrid. But, by Friday May 20, the player already had it in his mind that he’d stay at PSG.

To understand the keys to this story, it’s important to go through each of the details.

Luis Campos’ relationship with Real Madrid

Luis Campos, on behalf of Florentino Perez, had been assisting Real Madrid in their efforts to sign Mbappe for almost two years.

Campos and Perez have known each other since 2012, when Jose Mourinho was Real Madrid coach and Campos was part of his coaching staff, first as an analyst and scout for young talent and then as an assistant.

When Mourinho took over at Porto, the club actually met with both men on the same day before opting to give the job to ‘The Special One’, but both men have always maintained great respect for each other and this is why Mourinho wanted Campos with him at Real Madrid.

Campos has coached more modest sides in the Portuguese top division, but has now built up an excellent reputation for his work in recruitment.

Luis Campos’ relationship with Mbappe

Campos has known Mbappe and his family since the forward was 14 years old, when he “dreamed” of one day playing for Real Madrid and was a fan of the club.

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At the time, Mbappe was in the Monaco youth team and Campos had been brought into the club’s sporting department by Dmitry Rybolovlev.

The young Mbappe had a conflict in his team at the time and Campos made a key intervention, which Mbappe recounts in his comic book.

As a result of that episode, the player, the director and Mbappe‘s mother consolidated a relationship of friendship and trust that has lasted to this day. He is a friend of the family, a spiritual and sporting advisor.

This brings us to the photos that come at the top of this article, which are from March 8, from a private dinner the night before the Real Madrid vs PSG Champions League quarter-final.

Campos dined in a restaurant in Madrid with Fayza Al-Amari, Mbappe‘s mother, and a friend of hers. The reason was simple: Campos and the Mbappe family trust each other.

That’s why Campos was one of the few who, during the week of May 16 to May 20, was at Mbappe‘s house to advise the player on his final decision, with Mbappe having been in Qatar on the Monday of that week for a publicity event for the club in the state that finances the team.

Mbappe’s shock decision

Mbappe decided at the last minute, and after calls from the Emir of Qatar, Nicolas Sarkozy and Emmanuel Macron, to stay at PSG.

His own personal patriotism won out over his professional instincts. Since the financial packages weren’t that different, it seems Mbappe made this decision because of a personal reason.

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Campos and Mbappe team up at PSG

Just as Mbappe was not expected to renew at PSG, neither was Campos expected to end up in Paris.

Campos had a proposal from Perez to be an external sports consultant for Real Madrid on a five-year contract.

The idea was that Mbappe and Luis Campos would end up working together for Real Madrid: one on the pitch and the other in the office and in the stands.

It should be noted that Campos made the decision not to dedicate himself exclusively to any single club, as he wanted to be an external professional.

PSG have long admired Campos, because the two teams not named PSG to have won Ligue 1 in the last decade were Monaco and Lille, with Campos having overseen both those clubs’ sporting departments at those times.

Campos had already signed an external consultancy contract with Celta Vigo and made a moral commitment to Perez, but Nasser Al-Khelaifi hoped the prestige of PSG, their economic potential and the chance to be behind a maiden Champions League win would convince Campos to take on this challenge.

For the director, this mix of prestige and ambition proved to be tempting enough.

There were, though, three conditions to Campos partnering up with PSG. One was for Perez to give his blessing, which happened when Campos spoke with the Real Madid president.

Another was for guarantees to be made about autonomy and a third condition was for PSG to allow the director to work for Celta Vigo at the same time.

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With PSG agreeing to all this, Campos is now working on the French club’s sporting project.

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