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- Diego Maradona believes Mbappe’s path was blocked by Cristiano Ronaldo
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Football legend Diego Maradona claims Real Madrid president Florentino Perez decided against sealing the transfer of Kylian Mbappe because of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Marca suggested a deal was close for Mbappe to move to Madrid in the summer, but the deal never materialised and he ended up leaving Monaco for a surprise loan switch to Paris Saint-Germain instead.
Maradona now claims this was to do with Perez’s reluctance to bring in a competitor for star player Ronaldo, whose goal-scoring heroics led the club to Champions League glory again last season.
The Portugal international may now look somewhat past his peak this season, but picked up a fifth Ballon d’Or win this month and remains an influential figure at the Bernabeu.
It would have been hard for Mbappe to dislodge him, and Maradona says he spoke to Perez about the possibility of signing Mbappe in the summer.
‘For me, Mbappe is the revelation of football. I think he can surpass many,’ Maradona told AS, as translated by the Metro.
‘Why did they not sign him? I told Florentino to sign Mbappe. I told him when we saw each other at Fifa.
‘He told me… “but you know I have Cristiano”.’
Mbappe, 18, has shone since moving to PSG, contributing 12 goals and eight assists in 24 games so far this season.