PSG's Kylian Mbappe dines with France's Macron, Liberia's Weah
PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain attacker Kylian Mbappe was at the Palais de l’Elysee on Wednesday to have lunch with French president Emmanuel Macron and his recently elected Liberian counterpart, as well as 1995 Ballon d’or winner, George Weah.
The France international was invited, along with the likes of former Chelsea star Didier Drogba and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, to attend the event in the French capital.
Speaking with Le Parisien outside of the venue afterwards, Mbappe — who was born to a Cameroonian father and an Algerian mother — admitted that he enjoyed the experience.
“I learned a lot during this lunch,” the 19-year-old said of the lunch that was hosted in English. “There were a lot of lessons and it was a really rewarding experience.
“There were some topics that are dear to my heart. Even if I am French, I have African roots. Helping African sport to develop is something that is very important to me. If I can use my reputation or other means to help, then I will.
“There are plenty of things to do in Africa. I will invest all of my energy to do the absolute maximum to help. Ongoing projects were talked about, which will happen in the near future, but I cannot say too much more right now. I am going to invest in this as much as possible, though.”
Weah, who is now the 25th president of Liberia, played for PSG between 1992-95 in a storied career.
The capital club legend’s spell at Parc des Princes aided him in winning the 1995 Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the year shortly after he joined AC Milan and he is still the only native African to win these awards.
Speaking about his meeting with Weah, Mbappe praised the 51-year-old as a “legend” in footballing terms but “an honourable man and a source of inspiration” in terms of his rise to the presidency of Liberia.
Mbappe was not the only one impressed during the lunch, with Drogba telling Le Parisien afterward that he was impressed but mostly by Mbappe’s mature behaviour.
“His maturity and self-expression were impressive,” said the Phoenix Rising man, who also played for PSG’s bitter rivals Marseille, as well as Guingamp and Le Mans, in France. “Everything that he said was rational and thoughtful — he is a breath of fresh air.”
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.