Soccer Star Mbappé Urges French to Reject Far-Right Surge in Upcoming Election

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In the heart of Hamburg, Germany, a startling declaration echoed out from the lips of Kylian Mbappé, the esteemed captain of the French soccer team. With a grave seriousness cutting through his usual jovial exterior, Mbappé painted a grim picture of his motherland’s current political predicament, citing it as nothing short of catastrophic.

The National Rally, a far-right political faction, has abruptly spiked in favor among French citizens, netting an approximate 33% of votes in the first round of the impending election. Should history repeat itself in the second round of voting, it could catapult Marine Le Pen’s party to political dominance, heralding France’s first far-right government since World War II.

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As one of the country’s most high-profile and internationally recognized figures, Mbappé didn’t shy away from exploiting his influence. He urged his fellow countrymen to exercise their right to vote, in a desperate plea made during a press briefing on the preamble to France’s forthcoming clash against Portugal in the European Championship quarterfinals.

“We cannot let our country to fall into the hands of these people,” Mbappé stated emphatically, expressing alarm over the rising political temperatures. “It’s urgent. We saw the results, it is catastrophic.”

His plea echoed an earlier call he’d made during the Euro 2024 matches when he referred to the extremist politics elbowing its way to the helm of French governance. But this time, his appeal bore a stark sense of urgency.

“We really hope this is going to change,” he reflected on the election results, imploring the populace to rally together, cast their votes and back the right party.

The snap election, initially called upon by President Emmanuel Macron in a bid to outmaneuver the National Rally following the president’s defeat in the European Parliament elections, seems to have taken a drastic turn. With Le Pen’s opponents frantically struggling to thwart a National Rally majority triumph in the upcoming second round, the stakes have never been higher.

The French team has found itself frequently drawn into the political fray in their home country, responding to inquiries during press briefings at the Euro 2024 event. Echoing Mbappé’s sentiments, fellow team members Ousmane Dembele and Marcus Thuram voiced their worries. Dembele grimly acknowledged that “the alarm bell has been sounded,” while Thuram took it a step further, asserting that French people must “need to fight daily” to barricade the National Rally’s ascent to power.

Quite notably, the National Rally carries a grim undertow of racism and xenophobia in its wake. The French soccer team that won the Euro 2000 title and brought home the first World Cup trophy for France in 1998, on the other hand, was hailed as a beacon of diversity and unity ― a poetic blend of “Black, Blanc, Beur” (Black, white and Arab) players reflecting the tricolor flag of blue, white and red.