Kylian Mbappé finally joins Real Madrid as anointed heir to the greats | Sid Lowe

Wanted at the Santiago Bernabéu since childhood, the France forward will arrive in Spain after the mother of all transfer sagas

And so, at last, it ends. The longest-running transfer saga anyone could remember and no one was allowed to forget has finally reached its inevitable, overdue conclusion. The game’s, the world’s, worst-kept secret is out. Kylian Mbappé has joined Real Madrid. Yep. Shocking, isn’t it? Actually, for everyone else, it probably is. “He would take us to the next level,” Jude Bellingham said on Saturday night. While standing on the Wembley pitch. Having just won the Champions League. His team’s sixth in a decade.

The continent’s best club now has its best player. The signing, on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, was announced on Monday evening, just as Mbappé had told Emmanuel Macron it would be, cameras catching him that morning saying: “Ce soir, ce soir.” The scene felt appropriate somehow. His signing took seven years and became a question of state – of states– but it is done now. No false alarms, no jumping the gun, no “official” that isn’t official and no U-turns, not this time: it is 2024 and done is done. Now for that other bit which can feel secondary sometimes: the football.

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