By putting Kylian Mbappé ahead of Karim Benzema in its ranking of sportsmen of the year, the French sports daily has sparked a vast controversy. And many journalists cry foul.
In the space of 24 hours, what is ultimately an innocuous ranking has almost become a matter of state. On Friday, like every year, L’Équipe unveiled its ranking of the Champion of Champions on the world level and on the French level. Lionel Messi has won the most honorary title while Kylian Mbappé won the best sportsman award tricolor. More specifically, the Paris Saint-Germain player had almost double the points of his runner-up, Karim Benzema, winner of the Ballon d’Or and winner of the Champions League, KB9 being closely followed by Quentin Fillon-Maillet, star of the Olympic Games. winter in biathlon. And it’s an understatement that seeing Mbappé far ahead of Benzema made waves, the journalists of the L’Equipe group having clearly abandoned the former Lyonnais to the detriment of the Parisian star. Enough to trigger heavy fire from other journalists, but even internally. Former sports daily, Thierry Bretagne opened fire on Europe 1 and was not kind.
Mbappé in front of Benzema, he goes crazy
For him, this first position of Kylian Mbappé in the ranking of French sportsmen is an absolute shame and total nonsense. ” I found L’Equipe’s ranking lamentable. In the past, the newspaper distributed the title of champion of world champions one day, and that of champion of French champions another day. There, L’Equipe makes the trailer of what Qatar will do in Paris, namely to celebrate “the heroes reunited”, but there is one who won and the other who lost. Excuse me, but Kylian Mbappé has only won one thing for two years, it’s a lot of money. And that’s how he became the wheel-sucker useful idiot that is Lionel Messi. Messi put last season on hold in order to be ready for the World Cup. So PSG will celebrate the useful idiot with the wheel sucker, it doesn’t work. Benzema has won the Champion’s League, Benzema is the top scorer in the Spanish league and he has won titles. Mr. Benzema, I have already argued with his former agent, Djaziri, who called me early in the morning 15 years ago following an article. I had told him to telephone my director, because I had no intention of giving him an analysis while brushing my teeth. I don’t care about Djaziri, but what matters in football is the result. And the result is that Benzema won and Mbappé lost, and I can’t help it that’s how it is “, was offended Thierry Bretagne, flabbergasted by this result. But even within the sports daily, some journalists find it difficult to understand this result to which they nevertheless contributed.
The king of football has left us but his legacy will never be forgotten.
RIP KING 💔👑… pic.twitter.com/F55PrcM2Ud
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) December 29, 2022
In L’Equipe du Soir, the debate was very virulent when it came to commenting on this broad domination of Kylian Mbappe vs Karim Benzema. For Hugo Guillemet, a journalist who follows OL news, this ranking makes no sense. ” I do not question the vote, because it is indisputable. On the other hand, I did not vote that, because I did not choose out of emotion after Mbappé’s hat-trick in the final. But throughout the season, Karim Benzema won La Liga and the Champions League, and I heard that we were voting for the Champion of Champions, and in addition he beat Mbappé’s PSG in the Champions League. Mbappé won Ligue 1 and certainly he scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final, but for me it’s too little compared to Karim Benzema (…) In 20 years, will we remember Mbappé’s 2022 World Cup as we still remember that of Zidane in 2006? Mbappé helped us against Poland, but he did not exist against the English and against Morocco. In the final, for 80 minutes, we did not see him “Launched the journalist, who then clarified that he had voted for Benzema and placed Mbappé only third behind Quentin Fillon-Maillet.
For his part, Eric Blanc, former rugby player and consultant for the sports channel show, also went in this direction. ” Benzema is the Champion of Champions, he was just let down by his physique, but especially not his coach who let him down. He shone, he was inspiring, he was the leader, the captain of Real Madrid, he was exceptional. Football, this year it’s Benzema, while Mbappé is two penalties out of three goals, only one of which is in play. Four years before it was Griezmann who took the penalties “, was offended, live on the air, Eric Blanc, flabbergasted that the journalists of the daily went mainly to Kylian Mbappé after a year which saw Karim Benzema succeed Zinedine Zidane as the last French footballer to win the Ballon d’Or. And Didier Roustan, legend of journalism, to also make his astonishment understood.
I did it, for the people 🙌🏼🤍 pic.twitter.com/xxx9fMVwPV
— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) December 2, 2022
For him, Karim Benzema deserved to finish ahead of Kylian Mbappé. “ This story of the three goals in the final, fine, but there are two penalties. Suppose the French specialist to pull him is the right-back, we keep the same from Mbappé in the final? Benzema had such an influence on Real Madrid and his teammates, while Mbappé did not have the same influence (…) I find that playing the eighth, quarter etc in the Champions League is stronger than at the World Cup , apart from England. In the final, for 80 minutes, there is nothing in the France team. Both have had a great season, but I’m more Benzema. What Mbappé did during the World Cup is great, I’m not denigrating it “, confided Didier Roustan, visibly surprised by the difference in points between the two footballers, Mbappé having almost double Benzema, the latter even being under threat very close to Fillon-Maillet.