Kylian Mbappé joins Real Madrid in massive soccer shakeup

At long last, Kylian Mbappé is joining Real Madrid, pairing one of the world’s biggest soccer stars with one of its premier clubs.

Mbappé, 25, reached a five-year contract on a free transfer Monday, less than two weeks after the French-born forward played his final game with Paris Saint-Germain.

The move had long been expected and comes after multiple previous pursuits of Mbappé by Real Madrid.

“A dream come true,” Mbappé wrote on X. “Nobody can understand how excited I am right now.”

Mbappé scored 175 goals in Ligue 1 matches with PSG and helped lead the club to six Ligue 1 titles during his seven seasons. He won the 2018 World Cup with France, then scored a hat trick during the 2022 World Cup final in a loss to Lionel Messi-led Argentina.

In his announcement Monday, Mbappé shared multiple photos from a visit with Real Madrid during his youth — including an image with Cristiano Ronaldo.

With Real Madrid, Mbappé is set to make $16.2 million annually after taxes, according to ESPN.

Mbappé nearly joined Real Madrid in 2017 before choosing a $190 million contract with PSG. Real Madrid tried again in 2022, but, in a surprise, Mbappé inked an extension with PSG.

Last year, Mbappé declined to extend his PSG contract for an additional 12 months, saying he wanted to play out the final year on his deal. Many at the time expected Mbappé to leave for Real Madrid once his PSG contract expired.

Mbappé scored 27 goals last season, marking the sixth year in a row he led Ligue 1 in the category.

He announced on May 10 that he did not intend to re-sign with PSG.

“It’s a lot of emotions,” Mbappé said in an Instagram video.“Many years where I had the chance and the great honor to be a member of the biggest French club, one of the best in the world, which allowed me to arrive here, to have my first experience in a club with a lot of pressure, to grow as a player.”

His final match with PSG was a 2-1 win over Lyon in the French Cup final on May 25.

On Saturday, Real Madrid won its sixth European Cup title in 11 years with a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund.