PSG's Kylian Mbappe hits back at criticism from Benoit Assou-Ekotto
Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe has hit back at Benoit Assou-Ekotto after the Metz player criticised him for speaking about helping African sport.
Mbappe, a France international who has a Cameroonian father and an Algerian mother, had lunch this week with France president Emmanuel Macron and his recently elected Liberia counterpart, former football star George Weah.
The 19-year-old said afterward that he would “invest all of my energy” on projects to help develop sport in Africa — to which Assou-Ekotto, who was born in France but played for Cameroon, took exception.
“These European players of African origin, who have Africa in their hearts and want to help African sport, bla bla bla, while choosing to play for a European team,” Assou-Ekotto wrote. “You make me laugh! It looks good when you have a good cause, though.”
Assou-Ekotto was part of the Cameroon squad at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and infamously head-butted teammate Benjamin Moukandjo as Volker Finke’s men imploded and finished bottom of Group A, pointless and with a solitary goal to show for their campaign.
And in responding to Assou-Ekotto, Mbappe was quick to point out that incident, which spelled the end of Assou-Ekotto’s international career.
“These European players of African origin, who have Africa in their hearts and want to help African sport, bla bla bla, while fighting with an international teammate back in 2014…” replied Mbappe. “You make me laugh… However, these are your values.”
Mbappe and Assou-Ekotto already clashed earlier this season when Mbappe scored on his debut in a 5-1 win away at Metz in September and Assou-Ekotto was sent off for a foul on the former Monaco man.
The pair will meet again on the pitch next month at Parc des Princes and it promises to be a fiery battle between the two.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.