Kylian Mbappé laments ‘catastrophic’ French election vote for National Rally

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Kylian Mbappé has branded the first-round results of France’s snap parliamentary election “catastrophic”, urging voters to turn out in force and fend off the threat of a National Rally-controlled government when polls open for the runoff vote on Sunday.

In the latest of several interventions by members of the France national football team, the influential captain Mbappé warned that the country must take its chance to ensure the far right, anti-immigration party is unable to seize power in what has become a tumultuous political battle.

“It’s an urgent situation,” he said when asked for his thoughts on a parlous state of affairs that saw National Rally win 33% of the popular vote in last weekend’s first round. “We cannot let our country fall into the hands of these people. It is pressing. We saw the results, it’s catastrophic. We really hope it’s going to change: that everyone is going to rally together, go and vote, and vote for the correct party.”

Mbappé emphasised the importance of voting “now, more than ever”. France’s players are currently in Germany for the European Championship but they have maintained close attention on events back home and, unlike their English counterparts, a number of them have felt comfortable commenting on political matters.

Speaking on Monday after their victory over Belgium, the defender Jules Koundé said he was “disappointed” with the level of support for a party that “seek to take away our freedom and take away the fact that we live together”. He stated that previous non-voters must be persuaded to the ballot box in order to ensure the extreme right do not gain an absolute majority.

Before the tournament began, the forwards Marcus Thuram and Ousmane Dembélé both made similar exhortations to those eligible to vote. Mbappé joined them, saying at the time that he is “against extreme views and against ideas that divide people”.

Those comments were criticised by, among others, the National Rally leader Jordan Bardella. Mbappé, who recently signed for the Champions League winners Real Madrid, is France’s star player and a figure whose voice holds considerable weight among the country’s youth.

France face Portugal in a quarter-final on Friday and it means Mbappé, who will again play in a mask after breaking his nose in the group stage, will face a former Real Madrid forward in Cristiano Ronaldo. It is widely held that this could be the moment Mbappé, who is 25, takes the baton of greatness from the 39-year-old Portugal legend. “He is one of a kind,” Mbappé said. “He has shaped football, inspired generations, scored goals. I can only sing his praises.”


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