Part 1 of Mbappe’s Childhood Story: 15 handshakes or nothing

A story by Kylian Mbappe, about the boy’s childhood revolving around a round ball, his childhood in the poor suburbs of France – where the young talent’s love of football began. Told by the French superstar.

In Bondy, a suburb, there wasn’t much money back then. We were born that way, becoming dreamers. Dreams never cost anything, the reality is.


Where I live is a place where many different cultures – French, African, Arab, so many cultures from all over the world converge here. People from outside France always talked about the suburbs in a bad light, but if you weren’t there, you wouldn’t understand what life was like there.

People often talk about “thugs” as if their starting point is here. But thugs are all over the world. They all have really difficult living situations, all over the corners of this world.


In fɑct, when I was a kid, I used to see the most stubborn, chunky guys where I lived helping my grandma carry her stuff. You have never seen such beautiful colors on the pages of newspapers. You only hear about bad things.


There’s a rule in Bondy that everyone understands. He learned it since he was a child. If you go down the street and meet 15 people standing on the street corner, you only need to know one of them, you will have a choice: Either wave and move on, or shake hands with all 15 people.

If he shook hands with only 1 of them, the remaining 14 people would never forget his action. They will guess what kind of person you are.


It’s funny, because I’ve been using that Bondy rule all my life. Just last year, at the FIFA The Bes awards ceremony, I was walking with my parents before the ceremony and I saw Jose Mourinho in the room.

I had met him before, but he was with four or five friends that I didn’t know. And it’s time for the Bondy to show off. I thought, “Should I just wave to Mourinho or step forward?”


And I went up to him to say hello and shake his hand, and as a matter of course, I shook hands with all four of his friends.

Hello! *shake hands*

Hello! *shake hands*

Hello! *shake hands*

Hello! *shake hands*

It was fun at the time, because they were all sᴜrprised, like, “Hey, that’s the boy greeting us! Hello!”

When we were gone, my dad laughed and said, “That’s how it is at Bondy.”


Mbappe’s image on the wall of an apartment building in Blondy

In Bondy, he will learn values beyond football. I learned that we need to treat everyone the same, because we are from the same origin, we all dream the same dreams.

Me and my friend, we didn’t hope to be footballers. We were not expecting that. No plans at all. We only dream. That’s the difference. nt you for the rest of your life.”

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