French football’s top player Kylian Mbappe arrived in Cameroon on Thursday to a jubilant greeting from fans. His stay will include volunteering with deaf children and visiting his father’s village.
The 24-year-old forward was met by hundreds of people, many of them were wearing the football uniform of his side, Paris Saint-Germain.
According to accounts, they reportedly shouted his name with excitement as he left the airport in Yaounde, the country’s capital.
In his honor, a troupe of roughly 100 traditional dancers gave a performance. Before being driven away in an SUV with tinted windows, the football player waved to the crowd while being restrained by police.
“We are proud to see our Cameroonian brother. We want to offer him a very warm welcome,” high-school student Vannel Kunde, 16, enthused.
The multi-day visit by Mbappe, who is also the captain of France’s national team, will take place in a hotel complex owned by the Yaounde-based family of Yannick Noah, a former French tennis champion.
He is scheduled to visit a school for deaf and hard-of-hearing children in the suburbs of the capital on Friday.
The son of Yannick Noah, retired NBA star Joakim Noah, is expected to play in the basketball game in which he will also participate. Later, he plays in a football game against FC Vent d’Etoudi of Cameroon’s second tier.
On Saturday, he travels to Douala, the nation’s financial center, to visit a school before traveling to Djebale, the village where his father Wilfried Mbappe was born. His father was a young man when he fled Cameroon for France, where he worked as a football coach.
According to a statement from his Paris-based company, Mbappe will get the chance to visit two schools in Yaounde and Douala that are supported by his own philanthropic organization, Inspired by KM.
It’s also a chance to “follow in the footsteps of his ancestors in Djebale, to spend time with young Cameroonians”, it added.
The trip happens as speculation regarding Mbappe’s future at Paris Saint-Germain continues.
Although Mbappe has stated he would not extend his contract, which expires next year, he has stated he intends to stay for one more season. Mbappe made this announcement last month.
The player must therefore be sold by the club during the current transfer window, or else they risk losing him once his contract expires.
Mbappe “must sign a new contract” on Wednesday, according to PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi, if he wishes to play for the team again in the upcoming campaign.
He joined PSG from Monaco in August 2017 in a 180-million-euro ($196-million) deal and has gone on to establish himself as one of the world’s most prominent players.