By placing Kylian Mbappé ahead of Karim Benzema in its Sportsman of the Year ranking, the French sports daily has sparked a huge controversy. And many journalists cry foul.
Within 24 hours, what was ultimately an innocuous ranking almost became a matter of state. On Friday, like every year, L’Équipe unveiled its Champion of Champions ranking at world level and at French level. Lionel Messi won the most honorary title while Kylian Mbappé won the best sportsman award tricolor. Specifically, the Paris Saint-Germain player had nearly double the points of his runner-up, Ballon d’Or winner and Champions League winner Karim Benzema, KB9 followed closely by Quentin Fillon-Maillet, star of the Olympic Games winter in biathlon. And that’s an understatement to see Mbappé very forward on Benzema caused a sensation, the journalists of the L’Equipe group clearly abandoned the former Lyonnais at the expense of the Parisian star. Enough to ignite heavy fire from other journalists, but also insiders. Former sports newspaper, Thierry Bretagne opened fire on Europa 1 and it was not kind.
Mbappé in front of Benzema, goes crazy
For him, this first position of Kylian Mbappé in the French sports ranking is a real shame and complete nonsense. ” I found L’Equipe’s ranking deplorable. In the past, the newspaper handed out the title of champion of world champions one day and the title of champion of French champions on another day. There, L’Equipe makes a trailer of what Qatar will do in Paris, which is to celebrate “the heroes reunited”, but there are those who won and those who lost. Excuse me, but Kylian Mbappé has only won one thing in two years, that’s a lot of money. And that’s how he became the useful wheel-sucking idiot that is Lionel Messi. Messi suspended last season to be ready for the World Cup. So PSG will celebrate the useful idiot with the suction cup of the wheel, it doesn’t work. Benzema has won the Champion’s League, Benzema is the top scorer in the Spanish league and has won titles. Mr. Benzema, I have already quarreled with his former agent, Djaziri, who called me early in the morning 15 years ago following an article. I told him to call my director, because I wasn’t going to give him an analysis while I was brushing my teeth. I don’t care about Djaziri, but what matters to him in football is the result. And the result is that Benzema won and Mbappé lost, and I can’t help it, that’s it “, Thierry Bretagne was offended, amazed by this result. But even within the sports newspaper some journalists find it hard to understand this result to which they have contributed in any case.
The king of football has passed away but his legacy will never be forgotten.
RIP KING??… pic.twitter.com/F55PrcM2Ud
— Kylian Mbappe (@KMbappe) December 29, 2022
In L’Equipe du Soir, the debate was very virulent when it came to commenting on this broad domain of Kylian Mbappe vs Karim Benzema. For Hugo Guillemet, a journalist who follows the news of OL, this ranking makes no sense. ” I do not question the vote, because it is indisputable. Instead I didn’t vote for that one, because I didn’t choose him out of emotion after Mbappé’s hat-trick in the final. But throughout the season, Karim Benzema won La Liga and the Champions League, and I heard we were voting for the Champion of Champions, and also beat Mbappé’s PSG in the Champions League. Mbappé won Ligue 1 and certainly scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final, but for me that’s too little compared to Karim Benzema (…) In 20 years will we remember Mbappé’s 2022 World Cup as we still remember Zidane’s in 2006? Mbappé helped us against Poland, but he didn’t exist against the British and against Morocco. In the final, for 80 minutes, we didn’t see him “Launched the journalist, who then clarified that he had voted for Benzema and had placed Mbappé only third behind Quentin Fillon-Maillet.
For his part, Eric Blanc, former rugby player and consultant of the sports channel show, also went in this direction. ” Benzema is the Champion of Champions, he was only let down by his physique, but above all not by his coach who let him down. He shone, he inspired, he was the leader, the captain of Real Madrid, he was exceptional. Football, this year it’s up to Benzema, while Mbappé is two penalties out of three goals, of which only one on the pitch, four years earlier it was Griezmann who took the penalties “, Eric Blanc was offended, live, astounded by the fact that the newspaper’s journalists mainly turned to Kylian Mbappé after a year that saw Karim Benzema take over Zinedine Zidane as the last French footballer to win the Ballon d’Or. It is Didier Roustan, legend of journalism, who also conveys his amazement.
I did it, for the people 🙌🏼🤍 pic.twitter.com/xxx9fMVwPV
— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) December 2, 2022
For him, Karim Benzema deserved to finish ahead of Kylian Mbappé. “ This story of three late goals is fine, but there are two penalties. Let’s assume that the French specialist is the right full-back, do we keep the same as Mbappé in the final? Benzema had such an influence on Real Madrid and his teammates, while Mbappé didn’t have the same influence (…) I find playing eighth, fourth etc in the Champions League stronger than in the World Cup, apart from England. In the final, for 80 minutes, there is nothing in the French team. Both had a great season, but I’m more Benzema. What Mbappé did during the World Cup is fantastic, I don’t denigrate it “, Didier Roustan confided, visibly surprised by the difference in points between the two players, Mbappé having almost double Benzema, the latter even in danger very close to Fillon-Maillet.