‘I was lucky to win the World Cup and we have another great team here’: Kylian Mbappe likens mood in PSG squad to triumphant France team after breezing past RB Leipzig
- PSG coasted past RB Leipzig 3-0 to reach their first Champions League final
- French side have struggled to reach showpiece for decade despite spending big
- Kylian Mbappe likened atmosphere to French World Cup-winning squad
- He also spoke of flourishing relationship with Neymar on and off the pitch
Kylian Mbappe believes the mood around this Paris Saint-Germain squad chasing a maiden Champions League triumph is similar to the France team he helped win the 2018 World Cup.
Thomas Tuchel’s side reached their first final thanks to victory over RB Leipzig on Tuesday night, with goals from Marquinhos, Angel Di Maria and Juan Bernat securing a 3-0 win in Lisbon.
For much of the past decade, PSG have struggled to translate their vast spending into success on the European stage.
Kylian Mbappe helped PSG to the Champions League final at RB Leipzig’s expense
After the game the striker compared the squad atmosphere to France’s World Cup winners
But now only Bayern Munich or Lyon can stop them, with Mbappe one game away from winning club football’s biggest prize – two years on from winning the World Cup in Russia.
When asked if there is the same atmosphere around both squads, he said: ‘To be honest yes, we have managed to put together a team where everyone knows our qualities of each other but also our weak points… I was lucky to win the World Cup and we have another great team here and this is another important factor that you have a high estimation of your team-mates.’
He added: ‘I can’t tell you if we will win the final but it can help you.’
The trio of Mbappe, Neymar and Angel Di Maria proved too hot for the German side to handle
Brazilian superstar Neymar was again instrumental in the 3-0 victory, creating Di Maria’s goal with a sumptuous flick.
Afterwards Mbappe heaped praise on his team-mate, tipping Neymar to lead them to European glory and prove himself the best player in the world this year.
‘It’s very comfortable playing alongside a player like Neymar. He’s one of the best players in the world and he proved it again today… we are almost the same age, we like each other a lot, it just fits well. We have respect for each other, we have fun together and I think we have improved and improved as a team also.’
Neymar has yet to score during the mini-tournament in Lisbon but PSG boss Tuchel added: ‘With the qualities and confidence he has, he will be more clinical again… what can I tell him or explain? I only scored two goals in my whole career! I can’t really help him, maybe Kylian can give him some advice.’
Neymar will sharpen up in front of goal and be more clinical, according to Thomas Tuchel
Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann highlighted the chasm between the two sides by claiming both Neymar (£198million) and Mbappe (£165.7m) cost more than his entire squad.
But he admitted: ‘They were the better team today. We have to accept this, it’s hard but football Is sometimes like that and today it’s like that… after the second goal the belief of our players was gone a little bit – I think that’s normal.’
He added: ‘We played a good season, we made it to the Champions League semi-finals – that’s a great achievement and we will be proud of that. Now we are a little bit frustrated, it’s normal and it has to be like that to gather power for new tasks.’