With Football’s infectious popularity breaching new frontiers, fans from different cultures have started to make the beautiful game their own.
And a primary example of this is the ‘Kpopification’ of various Football players.
The phenomenon started with South Korea’s very own Son Heung-Min, before transferring to his Spurs teammate Richarlison.
For the uninitiated, the term ‘Kpopification’ emerged from ‘Kpop’, the popular music genre.
The term essentially refers to K-pop’s rabid fan culture, and the many unique ways through which fans celebrate their favorite K-pop artists.
In Richarlison’s case, the Brazilian was ‘Kpop-ified’ following his exploits at the Qatar World Cup. The forward earned many fans through his performances, including his very own horde of K-pop stans.
At the young age of 24, the Frenchman is already one of the most famous players in World Football.
Through his sensational hattrick during the World Cup final, Mbappe effectively announced himself to the billions watching on. And it’s safe to say that the forward has die-hard fans spread all throughout the globe.
Among his adoring supporters are thousands of Kpop stans, who have already begun producing cards and video edits usually reserved for Korean artists.
Naturally, seeing a crossover between Mbappe and their favorite K-pop act would be a dream come true for these fans. And some have even taken it upon themselves to make it happen.
This came to light after an image, which displayed the forward posing alongside Kpop boyband ‘Exo’, went viral online.
For those out of the loop, Exo is one of the most popular boy bands in the world.
Consisting of 9 members, the boyband grew to fame following their debut album in 2013. Since then, they’ve picked up many albums of the year titles and also released multiple chart-topping tracks.
During their initial run, Exo were even dubbed the ‘Kings of Kpop’, a tag which speaks volumes about their popularity.
As for the links to Mbappe, they were formed after this image emerged online.
It displays all 9 members of Exo with the 24-year-old tucked right in the middle. Many fans felt that the image was legitimate, especially considering the thematic similarities present throughout.
The entirety of Exo can be seen wearing sweaters and pullovers while posing in front of a wintery backdrop. Mbappe, who is also wearing a sweater while posing like an Exo member, appears to fit right in.
Many K-pop stans found the similarity to be telling, as they went on to suggest that the PSG star did an official photoshoot with Exo.
They further backed their claims using this clip, which displays Exo member Sehun Facetiming Mbappe.
As given away by the sheer peculiarity of the clip, yes, it is indeed fake. And so is the photoshoot image.
The viral image was actually fabricated, using a solo picture of Mbappe from his photoshoot for Dior and stapling onto Exo’s promotional picture for their winter album.
While this supposed photoshoot was sadly fake, who’s to say that a potential crossover couldn’t occur in the future?