Kylian Mbappe will face AC Milan as an opponent tonight, but he has some red and black in his heart given he grew up a fan of the Rossoneri.
La Gazzetta dello Sport explore the story of the Riccardis, the Italian family where Mbappe spent many afternoons during his childhood. The Riccardis are all die-hard fans Milan fans and as a child they made Kylian promise that if one day he plays in Serie A, he will only be wearing the Milan shirt.
Mbappe had a Milan shirt every year as a kid, one which he brought to training or even slept in, as also remembered by his mother Fayza who spoke over a coffee with Nicola and Beatrice Riccardi in their home in Bondy.
Antonio, one of their two sons, revealed: “Kylian told me that Milan is part of his plans, but at the end of his career. Unfortunately he was joking.”
Mbappé is keen to make a good impression, his mother confirmed: “Otherwise he will be made fun of by our friends the Riccardi.”
Antonio is arguably his first fan and one of his first coaches, and he explained how Mbappé admitted that Milan is part of the plans: “But it was a joke, I don’t want to deceive the Rossoneri fans.”
However, the Parisian began to love football even with Milan. Seeing him in the Rossoneri remains an unachievable dream: “No one or almost no one can afford him now.”
Immediately after the Champions League draw, the striker still invited all the Riccardis to the Parco des Princes and San Siro, from where he had sent a video to Nicola when he played the Nations League final there, which he won in 2021.
Mrs. Beatrice prepares coffee for her guests and remembers when she was babysitting little Kylian. At first she only came on Wednesdays, but then Mbappé also came back for the rest of the week and she could stay over during the holidays.
Even to play football with Antonio, perhaps in the living room, throwing open the cupboard, transforming it into a goal. She recalls: “Every now and then they would break ornaments and paintings that they would hide while pretending nothing had happened. With his smile, Mbappé he made up for everything.”
Mbappé learned to support Milan even in front of the TV, as Antonio reveals: “I forced him to watch all the league matches. I remember the one for the 18th Scudetto, it was great party.”
There was no shortage of Champions League evenings, when Mbappé was forbidden to even mention Juve. It was the Milan of the stars: Shevchenko, Kakà, Seedorf, Pirlo, Ronaldinho.
“But I made fun of him by telling him that he looked like Dida,” adds Antonio, his first coach. “At five years old he was already stronger than me, who was ten years older. It was nice to train him, and he scored when he decided to win. He is a real football fan.”
His mother Fayza added: “He is the son of sportsmen but he was immersed in supporting AC Milan right from the start. When he came home he would only talk about AC Milan. If AC Milan lost, he could throw the remote control at the TV and say a few swear words in Italian.”
The most famous photo of the Rossoneri Mbappé is the one with Robinho’s shirt on, as Nicola remembers: “We gave it to him because we called him little Robinho.”
Fayza intervenes: “He wore it for training and even to bed. But like many others: Real Madrid, France, PSG, Manchester United for CR7. He loved the great strikers, but he could also wear Frei’s shirt from Rennes.”
Tonight will therefore be a special evening for Mbappé, but Antonio knows where his loyalties lay: “I will support Milan and I told him to be good. But if he scores I will be happy.”
Fayza smiles: “If they had told us fifteen years ago that he would be the protagonist of PSG-Milan we would never have believed it.”