Kylian Mbappe has confirmed his desire to represent France on home soil at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
The Games will mark the 100th anniversary of the last time the Summer Olympics were held in France, and Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe says being there is on his bucket list.
He was sucked in by watching London 2012 as a child, and after being denied the chance to go to Tokyo 2020 - he is determined not to miss out in three years’ time.
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“It was while watching London 2012 that I realised the importance of this global competition,” Mbappe told L’Equipe. “The Games are the reference point for sport, the Grail for sportsmen and women.
I must have been 13, I was still very young, I remember the hours leading up to some events in London. LeBron (James), Kobe (Bryant). I wanted to see what Usain Bolt did on track. All the other sports, as well as the football.
“That’s when I said to myself that I want to be there too. I want to experience the Paris Games.
“It’s an inner feeling as if it is my destiny to participate in this huge celebration in my city, in my country - 100 years after the last competition in France.”
Should he make it to Paris 2024, Mbappe’s focus will be on securing gold in football - but he is keen to embrace the whole Games.
“I dream of going to other sports that we don’t have time to see,” he said. “Judo, handball, basketball, volleyball, canoeing - even skateboarding.
“These Games will be in France, the centenary in Paris. It's not the biggest competition in football, but you have to play the Games in your career.”
It would appear the 22-year-old is still bitter about being denied the chance to go to the Tokyo Games earlier this year.
“For Tokyo 2020, I wanted to participate,” he said. “It was an objective of mine. But they quickly pulled the rug from under my feet.”
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