French president Emmanuel Macron has confirmed that he did attempt to influence footballer Kylian Mbappe's decision before the latter signed his contract extension with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

In the months leading up to the contract renewal, it was largely believed that Mbappe had his heart set on making a move to Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid. However, PSG had been adamant about keeping him, throwing everything at him to convince him to stay.

As is turns out, Macron did put his word in to help sway the 23-year-old striker. "Yes, it is true that I had a conversation with Kylian Mbappe before he made a firm decision about his future," said Macron, in an interview quoted by Marca.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe poses with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi after announcing he is staying at the club until 2025 AFP / Anne-Christine POUJOULAT

He then justified the talk, saying that it was not meddling, but simply part of his responsibility to defend the French flag. "In it, I merely advised him, in a totally informal way, to remain in France. I believe it is my responsibility, as president, to defend the country when asked in an informal and friendly manner."

Of course, this "interference" raised some eyebrows. Macron defended himself and said, "I have never intervened in any transfer." He even went further to reveal that he is not biased towards PSG in particular, and even supports a rival club. "Just like any other citizen, when it comes to sporting matters, I always want to see a good game and cheer on a team, especially, in my case, Olympique de Marseille."

The French president is clearly in the know when it comes to football matters in his country. He also spoke up about the recent UEFA Champions League final fiasco, which saw numerous fans involved in altercations with French police outside the Stade de France.

"I sympathise with all those who could not get access to their seats despite having paid for their tickets, these people must be compensated as soon as possible," he said. The final between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid was delayed for nearly 40 minutes after chaos ensued at the gates due to issues with access to the venue.

"I have asked the government to clarify what happened, to determine responsibilities and to explain everything down to the smallest detail to the French, the British, and the Spanish," he added.

Brigitte and mmanuel Macron
Macron is the first French president to win a second term in two decades Photo: AFP / Thomas COEX