During the infamous 'tunnel' incident of Highbury in 2004, one criticism Roy Keane leveled at Patrick Vieira was his apparent hypocrisy regarding the nation the French international chose to represent:
If you love Senegal so much, why don't you go and play for them?
Speaking a year later, Keane would expand on this comment:
It makes me laugh, players going on about how they are saving this country and saving that country but when they have the opportunity to play...well, it's probably none of my business.
The target of Keane's scorn on that instance was Vieira, a French World Cup winner who was born in Senegal and moved to his adopted nation at the age of 8.
As far as Vieira is concerned, he came through the French footballing structure, and, describing the situation in a 2014 interview, believed he did what felt "normal"; especially given that Senegal never approached him to play.
Kylian Mbappé, France's 19-year-old starlet currently playing with the national team and Paris St. Germain is in a different scenario to Vieira. Born in France, Mbappé has nonetheless been acknowledging his African roots recently.
Alongside Didier Drogba and Liberian President George Weah, Mbappé met with French President Emmanuel Macron this week in Paris to "launch a platform that will support sport in Africa."
According to a report in AS, Mbappé said the following of this meeting and it's objectives:
Even if I am French, I have African origins. Helping African sport develop is important to me. If I can help through my notoriety or others, I will do it with pleasure. There are many things to do in Africa. I will put all the energy I can to help the maximum.
One person who is taking the 'Roy Keane' position on this however is former Spurs defender and French-born Cameroon international, Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
ces joueurs européens d’origine africaine qui tiennent l’Afrique dans leur cœur et qui veulent aider le sport africain bla bla bla tout en s’empressant de jouer pour une sélection européenne vous me faites doucement rire... mais ça fait bien les bonnes causes...#🎻
— Benoit Assou-Ekotto (@AssouEkotto) February 21, 2018
Translated approximately as, "These European players of African descent who hold Africa in their hearts and want to help the African sport blah blah blah while rushing to play for a European selection you make me laugh ... but that's good causes ... #"
Unhappy with Mbappé's status on such matters, the 19-year-old has had his say on Assou-Ekotto's criticism.
Ces joueurs africains qui tiennent l’Afrique dans leurs cœurs et qui veulent aider le sport africain bla-bla-bla bla tout en se battant avec un coéquipier sur la scène internationale en 2014....
Vous me faites doucement rire...mais ça ce sont vos valeurs 🤔 @AssouEkotto pic.twitter.com/cHYqErga7e
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) February 23, 2018
These African players who hold Africa in their hearts and want to help African sport blah-blah-blah blah while fighting with a teammate on the international scene in 2014.... You make me softly laugh... but these are your values.
A condemnation of Assou-Ekotto's own indiscretions in the Cameroon jersey, Mbappé's comments demonstrate his own confidence in the good work that he is trying to carry out.