Kylian Mbappe’s parents: Their influence on his life

France’s bid to retain the FIFA World Cup relies heavily on Kylian Mbappe’s goals. Mbappe, considered one of the best football players in the world, has gotten off to a blistering start at the Qatar 2022 tournament, scoring three goals and providing one assist in the opening couple of fixtures. 

If he keeps up that form, France has every chance of retaining a cup they won with Mbappe’s help in 2018.  

It is a little-known fact that under a different set of circumstances, Mbappe could have lined up for Cameroon, another country playing in Qatar 2022. This piece looks at Kylian Mbappe’s parents.

Kylian’s African father was a football coach, and his mother was a handball player

Kylian Mbappe was born on 20th December 1988 in Paris to Fayza Lamari and Wilfried Mbappe. Mbappe grew up alongside his adoptive brother, Jires Kembo Ekoko, and his younger brother, Ethan, in Bondy, an area considered a breeding ground for crime. 

Wilfried Mbappe is a Cameroonian with Nigerian roots. He migrated to Northern France for a better life and met Fayza, an Algerian-French lady. The couple married, granting Wilfried French citizenship. Therefore, Kylian has African roots in Algeria, Cameroon, and Nigeria. 

Mbappe and his brothers grew up playing football under the tutelage of Wilfried, a former youth coach for AS Bondy. Atmane Airouche, AS Bondy’s president, talked to the BBC about Wilfried’s impact on the club:

“He [Kylian] was born into football and sport. His father was a youth leader, working with children in the local area and then he was brought in to AS Bondy. He only left us three months ago but his imprint will be here forever. He gave 25 years of his life to us.”

Airouche also revealed that Fayza, a former handball player, greatly influenced Mbappe’s development. Fayza told Le Parisien that Mbappe’s meteoric rise worried her: she feared that fame would impact his life negatively. She explained:

“This is a kid who’s been in the spotlight since he was 8 or 9 years old. When we chose to have him go to Monaco for his development, it was to have him far away from Paris. We wanted to protect him. His father wanted him at PSG. I’ve been wanting to make a documentary about him for two years, but he doesn’t want to.”

Mbappe’s mother insisted that Kylian makes independent career choices

In the documentary 93 Famille, Kylian Mbappe revealed that the family made decisions together. Kylian’s mother, father, and lawyer Delphine Verheyden manage the star’s career. 

Mbappe’s future has dominated headlines in recent years, with PSG doing all they can to hang on to the star man. In 2022, the football world expected Kylian to swap the blue of PSG for the white of Real Madrid, his dream club. 

Lamari told Kora Plus that PSG and Real Madrid had presented identical offers to Kylian, and it was up to him to decide where he wanted to go. Unexpectedly, Mbappe chose to remain in Paris. 

Fayza told Le Parisien that Mbappe’s management team had no influence on Mbappe’s choices: “None of us three decides. When Kylian wants something, whatever you do, he will go for it. It’s easy to blame me for it. He didn’t leave, he’s at PSG and he’s happy about it. You can have a desire to leave without turning your back on the place you want to leave from.”

Lamari told the outlet that she’d chosen to speak in Kylian’s defense because he didn’t deserve the criticism he was receiving. She’d wanted a low-key life, but she couldn’t stand by as people attacked Mbappe. ‘At that point, it’s the mother that intervenes,” Lamari said. 

Fayza has received plaudits for defending Mbappe. However, some people, including former PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, opine that Mbappe’s parents should exert less control on Mbappe’s life and career. Ibrahimovic said:

“So his parents become lawyers, agents, coaches. From one thing they become another. And that’s the problem. Today with this new generation, the parents, dad, mom who you want, they think they have become stars. They talk in the newspapers. But who do you think you are? Shut up. It is up to your son, the player, to work and have discipline.”

Fayza said that Mbappe is happy playing alongside Messi at PSG

Kylian Mbappe’s attitude at PSG seems to change every fortnight. Mbappe’s new contract made him one of the highest earners in world football and gave him considerable influence over club affairs. Furthermore, Mbappe plays alongside some of the world’s best footballers in a system that gets the best out of him. 

Mbappe should be happy with PSG, but he sometimes isn’t. Reports claim that Mbappe’s radical attitude shifts have caused cracks in the PSG dressing room. A club insider told the Daily Mail:

“One day, he arrives at Camp des Loges, all smiles, jokes and greets everyone, and the next day, he arrives without a word, does not look at anyone. And it’s been like that since the beginning of the season.”

Fayza told Le Parisien that Mbappe’s emotions and reactions are always heightened. “With Kylian, it can all change from one day to the next. When he’s happy, he’s like a 3-year-old kid. When he’s sad, he cries,” Fayza said. Lamari talked about Mbappe’s happiness at PSG, stating that he enjoys playing alongside Messi. She explained:

“Kylian will be able to tell his kids later on that he played against Cristiano Ronaldo and alongside Neymar and Messi, his childhood idols. He had posters of these players in his room.”

Lamari said Mbappe thrives in a loving environment. She said: “ For him to give the most of his potential, he has to feel loved, wanted, and not be the problem. But he’s not the problem, he gets on well with everyone and doesn’t waffle.”

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