Mbappe’s final decision on playing at Olympics after Real Madrid transfer

Kylian Mbappe has confirmed that Real Madrid have blocked him from competing at this summer’s Olympic Games.

Mbappe had previously admitted his desire to head to the tournament, which runs after the European Championships and would overlap into pre-season, and French president Emmanuel Macron even involved himself in conversations to try and secure Mbappe’s involvement.

The Olympics are not a FIFA-recognised tournament, however, and so clubs are under no obligation to release their players.

Madrid wrote to the French authorities to confirm that stars such as Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni would be blocked from competing, and have stood firm on that stance to deny Mbappe’s Olympic dream.

“My club’s position was very clear, so from that moment on, I think I [knew] I won’t be taking part in the Games,” Mbappe told reporters.

“That’s just the way it is, and I understand that too. I’m joining a new team in September, so it’s not the best way to start an adventure.

“I’m going to wish this French team all the best. I’m going to watch every game. I hope they’ll win the gold medal.”

Indeed, Mbappe was left off the provisional squad presented by manager Thierry Henry.

Olympic teams are made up primarily of players under 23 years old but managers are permitted to take up to three ‘overage’ players.

Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette and Crystal Palace’s Jean-Phillipe Mateta are the only two players over 23 included in the preliminary squad, with a third spot still open to Henry.

Also in the team are big names like Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise, Bayern Munich striker Mathys Tel, Lille defender Leny Yoro and midfielders Khephren Thuram, Lesley Ugochukwu and Warren Zaire-Emery of Nice, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.

What we know

  • Mbappe had been determined to play at the Olympics with France this summer
  • New employers Real Madrid have blocked all players from heading to the tournament
  • French forward will instead watch Thierry Henry’s side as a fan.

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