We all know about Rabiot saga by now. It was announced that the player will leave PSG in the summer after years of complex relationship with Parisian giant. However, back story is much more complicated that that, so let’s begin.
All the way from his childhood, Rabiot was considered a special talent. Just like so many French talents*, he was born near Paris, in Saint-Maurice, to be exact. He’s not the only French star born there, Evan Fournier is also proud representative of the area (although his haircut won’t make anyone proud).
*Pogba, Mbappe, Kante are just some of French stars born in the area of Paris.
Anyhow, Manchester City spotted the young talent in 2012, and when City want something – they go get it. Rabiot signed with City on a six year deal. Year before signing with Manchester giants, family tragedy came upon Adrien, as his father and role-model Michael suffered a stroke. It left him unable to move any part of his body except his eyelids, causing lots of pain both for Michael and his family. When he turned 17, Rabiot said:
It’s a very frustrating feeling. Ever since his stroke, when I go out on the pitch, I’m fighting for him too. He was the one who introduced me to football and he knows it very well. He still has all his cognitive functions, he’s the same on the inside. When I told him I was turning pro I could tell by his look that he was proud.
With all that drama going on, it’s no wonder Rabiot’s mother pulled him out of Manchester just 6 months into his tenure, the burden was just too big. Veronique, Rabiot’s mother, never stopped looking out for her boy, probably in an unconscious fear of losing him, just as she almost fully lost her husband.
Rabiot went back to France, and it wasn’t long before PSG spotted him. Then 15 year-old joined the academy, only to be invited to the first team at 16 years of age. The man who took him to the senior squad was Carlo Ancelotti, similarly to how he embraced Crespo. Still, Rabiot wasn’t settled. He wanted to play more, even though the coaches trusted him. Rabiot went out on loan to Touluse, and when he came back, he didn’t hold back and said:
I do not want to go through what Mamadou Sakho had to put up with
He was referring to the PSG academy graduate Sakho who spent years trying to cement his place in starting eleven, failing time and time again. He’s moved to Liverpool after, and the rest is history… although not as spectacular as it usually is when we use this phrase.
He was on the verge of moving in 2014, Roma came calling, and his mother wasn’t holding back:
He needs to play regularly in high-level matches. Since February he has only started five times in the league and once in the Champions League. He cannot afford to spend a season on the bench. At his age, if you do not progress, you regress. His goal is to join the France team at Euro 2016. Staying at PSG seems very difficult.
Some hefty promises were made to Rabiot and his mum in order to keep them happy in the following summer, but that didn’t keep Veronique from talking; she requested for her son to play 35 full matches that season.
In the hindsight, it’s very possible that Rabiot’s father situation affected Adrien and made him more loyal to his overprotective mother. As Rabiot says:
I live for the present. I take things as they come, maybe because I’m well aware that everything is fragile.
His PSG future at the moment isn’t fragile – it’s broken. However, this situation already occurred once, so don’t be shocked if Rabiot stays after all, bigger turnarounds did happen in Adrien’s career.
We’ll all rush to lynch young man and his mother, but make no mistake, these two have gone through a lot, and it’s always better to take a look from another perspective, even thought instant judgmental attitude is embedded in us throughout these modern times.