As he heads towards World Cup stardom, everyone is looking to Kylian Mbappé, who collected his third trophy as best footballer against Poland in the four games he has played with the French team.
He barely failed in the duel against Tunisia, of which he only played half an hour.
The three times he subtly, but not inadvertently, repeated a gesture: the player, who does not want his image to be associated with that of alcoholic beverages, among other things, picked up the trophy and posed with it after turning it over so that the trophy could not be seen. logo that houses at its base, that of the American brewer Budweiser.
This already has problems with FIFA, to which it pays 75 million euros for sponsorships and which is now assessing the claim for more than half of that amount due to the prohibition that its beer can be drunk in Qatari stadiums.
Football belongs to the footballers until the business makes them part of the showcase.
And there sprout small and showy rebellions.
Almost half a century ago, Johan Cruyff in the first World Cup held in Germany unilaterally modified the shirt he wore with the national team to remove the three stripes that identified the brand of the competition with which he had signed an advertising contract.
In the last Euro Cup, it was Cristiano Ronaldo who turned around a popular soft drink that accompanied his television shot at a press conference while inviting them to drink water, a gesture that caused an immediate drop in the company's stock price, indicated by the Portuguese star.
Mbappé, who is about to turn 24 and who is expected to be at the top of football for the next decade, has an army of lawyers and experts with whom he exercises tight control over his brand.
Last September he refused to pose at a photo session organized by the French Football Federation to discuss the conditions under which his image would be handled.
Months ago they had already had a first clash because the player claims maximum control over the firms to which he is linked.
And he doesn't want to be identified with alcohol, fast food, sugary drinks or gambling.
When the French federation organized several events this year with companies in these branches, he simply did not appear and demanded that the obligations of footballers be defined.
The French star currently works with five sponsors: the video game firm EA Sports, the watchmaker Hublot, the Japanese cosmetics firm Bulk Homme and the organic food for children and babies Good Gout, a French company with which Mbappé assures that shares the idea of “inspiring children to a healthier and happier life”.
In addition, the sports equipment that he uses is Nike.
When, in the conversations to join Real Madrid, his advisers were asked about the usual rule of the white club of having 50% of the benefits derived from the transfer of their image rights, they made a face.
He ended up signing a new contract with PSG that guarantees him to maintain that control and that income.
Meanwhile he focuses on the World Cup.
Where he raises trophies and barely expresses himself off the field.
The nomination as the best player in a match entails a series of commitments with the media with rights that Mbappé avoided after the matches against Australia and Denmark.
After his exhibition against Poland, he did speak: “I have nothing against anyone.
I need to focus on the tournament and not waste energy on other things, but I found out that the Federation had to pay a fine if I didn't speak up”, he pointed out before concluding.
“I will pay the previous sanctions.
It is a decision that is personal and should not be paid for by others”.
It is not the only agreement that he has reached with the Federation, which has already known since 2017 that all the bonuses allocated to the player for the triumphs with the national team go to charities.
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