”How are you?”
”How are you feeling?”
”I think you should stay.” The
above conversation appeared between French President Macron and French star Mbappe. From December 2021 to April 2022, Macron called Mbappe every month for five months, and the core topic was “I hope you stay in France and play in Paris.”
A head of state calls sports stars every now and then, and asks them to stay on the team day and night. This kind of “coquettish operation” stuns passers-by and makes fans “confuse”. It has also become a modern social political figure involved in sports. A classic example of a circle.
According to Mbappe’s interview with “Sports Illustrated” in November, Macron said “I understand your idea of wanting to play for Real Madrid, but you are equally important to France and Paris.”
Not only the current President Macron, but former French Presidents Sarkozy and Hollande have come forward to retain Mbappe, hoping that the 23-year-old French star will not go abroad to play football. When he was a guest on the French media TF1 earlier this year, Mbappe talked about his hesitation and difficulty in deciding the future. “Sarkozy and President Macron have talked with me many times. They think I can write new history in Paris. The decision must be made by me. I think I already know it.
” In this “transfer drama” in May this year, it is difficult to tell whether the “knowledgeable” Mbappé has been influenced by figures at the presidential level, but one thing is for sure, that is, these French political figures have passed through negotiations with Mbappe. Barpe, a major French sports IP, got in touch and earned enough traffic and attention from the media.
Paris, which claims to be the “center of Europe”, and Marseille, which claims to be the “center of France”, have always been a group of cities that do not deal with each other.
Therefore, when the headlines of the French media ran bold and bold headlines such as “President Macron, I don’t want you to go”, it is not difficult to understand that in early May this year, Mbappe’s attitude suddenly “turned 180 degrees”. Realize your “children’s dream” (the dream of joining Real Madrid as a child), complete the contract renewal with Paris with the maximum salary, and continue to play in France.
Those big news that seem to be just the football world are actually far more than just competitive sports.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Kylian Mbappe celebrate Paris Saint-Germain winning the French Cup on May 19, 2021
French head of state steps into green field
Mbappe, who was born in 1998, made Macron “go against his original intention”.
As we all know, “post-70s” Macron is a Marseille fan. In the 1990s, when Macron was a teenager, Marseille was the best professional football club in France. It is no wonder that the “French Youth” Macron was obsessed with this Club in Provence.
Therefore, when Mbappe appeared in the public eye as the top card of Paris Saint-Germain, Macron’s heart was complicated: the most popular and hopeful young player in a country actually joined the mortal enemy camp that he most supported the team.
Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille are deadly rivals in French football. The hostility between the two clubs has not only spread among the fan groups, but has also risen to the scope of French urban culture-Paris, which claims to be the “center of Europe”, and Marseille, which claims to be the “center of France”, have always been a group of cities that do not deal with each other.
Compared with Paris, which pays attention to urbanization, urbanization and internationalization, Marseille, which is located on the coast of southern France, has always claimed to be the city with the most “French genes”.
Macron, a die-hard fan of Marseille, even publicly “instigated” Mbappe in 2020. In a reality show in France, the host and Macron played a game of “guess the truth”. Macron said one thing, and the host judged whether it was true or false. One thing Macron said at the time was: Parisian star Kylian Mbappe will move to Marseille soon. The host didn’t believe it, so the French president took out his mobile phone and dialed Mbappe’s number.
Of course the fact is: Macron, who is full of talent in variety shows, is of course talking nonsense, but he not only showed his identity as a Marseille loyalist in the show, for example, after he persuaded Mbappe to transfer to Marseille and was rejected, he deliberately “intimidated” Mbappe “You boy, don’t act too much”, and conveyed a signal in a “Versailles” style: I have a very good relationship with Mbappé, we are very close, and it is even more common to talk to each other on the phone.
To shorten the distance between well-known sports stars, this trick is often used by the French president, especially in election years. According to a poll conducted by Radio Monte Carlo in France, more than 67% of the respondents believe that a presidential candidate who likes sports, especially football, which is a highly popular sport in France, can indeed bring a “refreshing feeling”. And the facts speak louder than words: Macron has basically won those vote positions with a large fan base.
Everyone knows that the Prime Minister likes to watch football, but more importantly, the Prime Minister wants to be seen watching.
Therefore, the next time you see a foreign politician talking about his sports complex in an interview, or talking about his friendship with a certain football star, you must know the reasons and various considerations behind it. The level of competitive sports.
Another classic case is Macron’s predecessor, former President Sarkozy. Since Paris Saint-Germain was acquired by the Qatar National Fund during his term of office, and coincidentally, he is also a native Parisian + Parisian fan, Sarkozy played football, and everyone said that he went to the home court of Paris again—Prince Watching the game at the Park Stadium, and broadcasting platforms such as Canal+ also wittily push the camera to the president and the first lady Bruni who occasionally shows up in the home stands every weekend.
On November 13, 2022, Paris Saint-Germain played against Auxerre in Ligue 1. Mbappe scored the team’s first goal
But more often, sitting next to Sarkozy is either an official of the French Professional Football League or a club executive sent by Qatar to Paris to be responsible for daily operations. As the camera zooms in, Sarkozy and the Qataris who are whispering to each other will always grin. France and Qatar, two countries that were originally at odds with each other, just like this happened in the stands of the green field. Some kind of intersection of football fields.
Merkel ‘wrongly entered’ the dressing room
Like France, German politicians also have a deep football complex. The most typical example is former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In Germany, it is well-known football tidbits that female chancellor Angela Merkel loves football. Photos of Merkel cheering in the stands whenever Germany scored a goal during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa quickly circulated via text messages and Twitter. German voters think that Merkel showed her true feelings, and her clumsy opening of her hands to celebrate after scoring a goal intuitively reflected her recognition and love for the sport of football—even sometimes, Germans think that they love to watch it live Ball’s female prime minister is “pretty cute”.
Four years later, as the outside world expected, Merkel attended the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and watched many games of the German team in that tournament. The German “Le Monde” commented on Merkel’s behavior of sitting in the stands of the stadium: “Everyone knows that the female prime minister likes to watch football, but more importantly, the female prime minister wants people to see herself watching.
” The field exposure rate is extremely high, but Merkel has been criticized by the German Football Association and the outside world for getting too close to football. so, what happened?
It turned out that in October 2010 in the European Cup qualifiers, after the Germany VS Turkey match, Merkel walked into the locker room of the German team and “intimately” received all the players of the German team who had just finished a fierce battle on the field .
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German President Gauck celebrate with the German team after the World Cup final in Brazil, July 13, 2014
According to the most authoritative “Bild” in Germany, in the locker room of the Berlin Olympic Stadium, Merkel, who had been watching the game, suddenly decided to visit the German team’s locker room, shook hands with the German internationals one by one, and expressed their gratitude for their home victory. congratulate. And many German media took photos of the locker room at that time.
After this group of photos was exposed by the media, not only the Germans, but the whole world saw Merkel in a green suit, and “intimately” received the topless German internationals in the locker room after the game that day.
Many media outlets in Germany criticized Merkel for being “ignorant of etiquette”: “It’s okay for the German players to be uncomfortable. The most embarrassing thing is that we got goose bumps when we saw the photos.”
And this may just be Merkel’s criticism a beginning. Zwanziger, the then chairman of the German Football Association, was angry at Merkel’s trespassing in the locker room of the German team after learning of the incident: “This (behavior) is absolutely unacceptable. Everything must be done according to the rules. Anyway, I am not I heard that the Prime Minister wanted to visit our locker room. More importantly, she must have a political purpose in doing so.”
As soon as this remark came out, everyone was in an uproar. Some German media have speculated that the purpose of Merkel’s move is to show her pro-people side in front of the public, so as to seek more votes for support. However, Merkel also has his own reasons for defending. Merkel’s explanation is: I did not greet the chairman of the Football Association, but I received an invitation from the German team leader Bierhoff, so I went directly to the locker room to visit the players.
The storm of public opinion caused by this incident in Germany can be said to be unprecedented. Did the head of government intrude into the player’s locker room alone infringing on the interests of individual players and the team? The German media once set up a column to debate this. Those who support Merkel believe that it is only natural for the prime minister to meet the players. It not only expresses the support of the head of government for the national team, but also conveys the political affirmation of football to the public. It kills two birds with one stone and there is no conflict of interest.
But regarding this matter, “Bild” specially published three columns, criticizing Merkel for disrespecting the Football Association’s regulations and breaking into the locker room without authorization. “A team with strict tactics should be consistent on and off the field. Those rules are not set in vain. Those rules need to be followed by everyone. No matter who you are, you should respect these rules.”
Of course, I believe that if Macron and Sarkozy enter the locker room of the French team, the French media will not panic and prepare headlines, because they will definitely not have as much traffic as Merkel’s “trespassing” locker room!