Macron mocked after ‘embarrassing’ efforts to console World Cup star
Social media has had a field day at French President Emmanuel Macron’s expense after his efforts to comfort Kylian Mbappe at the World Cup final in Qatar did not appear to go down well.
Mbappe, 23, cut a dejected figure after France failed to secure back-to-back World Cup triumphs.
Despite Mbappe scoring a hat-trick, France were unable to retain the title they won in Russia in 2018, falling to Lionel Messi’s Argentina on penalties 4-2 after a thrilling game had ended 3-3 following extra time.
Macron was present at the Lusail Stadium to see the defeat, with the cameras regularly panning onto the leader to show his reactions as the goals flew in.
At full time, Macron made his way onto the pitch to console the team but appeared to be brushed off by Mbappe.
A further two somewhat awkward interactions followed on the podium when Mbappe received his Golden Boot award for scoring the most goals in the tournament and later his runners-up medal.
“I think Mbappe probably has grounds for a restraining order against Macron now,” tweeted a popular Sky News journalist.
Writing Macron into the story wasn’t the first thing on Mbappé’s mind. pic.twitter.com/aIfKxHQsac— Mike (@Doranimated) December 18, 2022
Mbappe pulling away from Macron as he tried to console him and then trying to take the medal from his hands rather than allowing Macron to put it on him is a VIBE.— Dr. Yara Hawari د. يارا هواري (@yarahawari) December 18, 2022
“On the pitch after the loss, pulling him into his arms. Awarding him the Golden Boot, pulling him to his chest. Awarding his runners up medal, pulling him back to whisper in his ear. What more is there to say, buddy? Let the man go,” he added.
“Macron is utterly desperate for a reaction from Mbappe but in three major efforts, the striker gives him no eye contact, and no photo opportunity,” claimed a tweet from a Middle East commentator.
Get French Football News said that Mbappe appeared “a bit fed up of Emmanuel Macron's attempts to console him,” while others focused more on Mbappe by complimenting him for supposedly snubbing Macron.
A French journalist sharing a clip of the incident branded it “57 seconds of embarrassment” where a “badly elected, hated president, still tries a dirty and crude political recovery.”
“It's hard. Heavy. Almost unbearable. Mbappe is literally attacked by Macron. He doesn't talk to him, [and] doesn't give him ONE look.”
On French TV, France ‘98 winner Emmanuel Petit had a dig at Macron muscling his way into the picture by saying: “I thought he was a coach.”
Sharing a clip of himself giving a pep talk to the dejected France team in the locker room after their defeat on Twitter, Macron remarked on Mbappe to RMC Sport by calling him a “great player” who he “reminded” is still young.
“I told him he's only 24 and he was the World Cup top scorer. He's won a World Cup before, he's been to another final,” Macron added.
Meanwhile, the French leader has faced criticism from some in his homeland for attending the semifinal and final in Qatar – a country at the center of a corruption involving the EU Parliament.
French media outlets have claimed Macron jet-setting to Qatar and back for the two matches has cost taxpayers around €500,000 ($530,000).