The phenom has been criticised for a poor reaction to being substituted in a recent Ligue 1 game but the club’s sporting director praised him
Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo has defended “adorable” Kylian Mbappe from criticism, saying the team’s fans should “rejoice” that he’s with the club.
The 21-year-old striker’s attitude has been questioned in some quarters after a spat with manager Thomas Tuchel followed being substituted against Montpellier on February 1.
Leonardo conceded that Mbappe’s behaviour was less than ideal, but said that claims he was spoiled were wide of the mark.
“I heard things about Mbappe, on his personality,” he told Canal+ after PSG’s 4-2 win over Lyon on Sunday.
“It makes me feel uncomfortable. If a player leaves the field, and talks to the coach, ok … He is at fault. We will talk about it and settle this.
“But to say that he is a spoiled child, I don’t accept that. Because he’s an adorable, very committed person and a fantastic player.”
The former Brazil international then asked a journalist in attendance who they thought the top five players in the world were.
Their answer was Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mbappe, Neymar and Mohamed Salah.
“In the Top 4, there is one 35 years old, another 32 years old and the other two they are 28 and 21 years old,” Leonardo responded.
“And these two are with us. Let us rejoice. I am a happy sports director. We should take advantage of that.
“It’s the joy of football. We have to stop talking about the problems.”
PSG will face Borussia Dortmund in the last-16 of the Champions League, a competition they are seen as desperate to win.
There is a perception they are held back by the strength of the French league, one rebuffed by Leonardo, who thinks having a healthy squad is vital to their success in this year’s edition of Europe’s premier club competition.
“We say that this team is not ready, that Ligue 1 is not at the level,” he added.
“That the club does not know how to manage its stars. I want to understand why? Because we have the right to be happy from time to time. The team is 1st, with 12 points ahead.
“We have an incredible squad. Our best players are in shape. Why do we have to be worried every time when the last sixteen arrives? Why do we have to stress? It won’t be a matter of life and death against
“We’re just playing a Champions League match. I think the team is ready. If we win, that’s good. Otherwise, too bad, PSG will continue to grow. We have to get out of this.”
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