Mbappe welcomes 'great news' of Neymar's love for PSG: I hope he can write history

By Ben Spratt 8 February 2021 27
Mbappe welcomes 'great news' of Neymar's love for PSG: I hope he can write history

Kylian Mbappe has welcomed Neymar's increasingly positive comments on his Paris Saint-Germain future, saying his team-mate deserves to enjoy a historic career in France.

Neymar, who has repeatedly been linked with a move away from PSG since joining the Ligue 1 giants in 2017, last month appeared to give a firm indication he will remain in Paris.

The Brazil superstar told TF1: "I want to stay at PSG and I hope Kylian stays too."

Neymar is reportedly close to agreeing a new four-year contract with the club and played a role in Sunday's 2-0 win over Classique rivals Marseille despite this week suffering with illness.

Keeping Neymar and Mbappe on board would represent a huge boost to PSG in their long-term bid to win the Champions League, having reached the final under Thomas Tuchel last season.

And Mbappe was upbeat as he told Canal+ of his thoughts on Neymar's commitment.

"This is great news. Everyone knows how important he is," the World Cup winner said. "I hope he can write history for Paris for a long time to come. He and the club deserve it."

Mbappe was speaking after netting the opener in the win at Marseille, a ninth-minute effort his only attempt but a vital strike.

No PSG player has made more appearances (26) or scored more goals (18) in all competitions than Mbappe this season, while he trails only Angel Di Maria – an injury worry against OM – in regards to Ligue 1 assists after the Argentine midfielder teed up his latest finish.

Mauro Icardi, now with five league goals in 11 games, added the second from one of his four efforts as PSG stayed within three points of Ligue 1 leaders Lille.

That is still only enough for third place, meaning Mbappe and Co cannot yet allow a Champions League meeting with Neymar's former side Barcelona to become a distraction.

"Unfortunately, we lost points all over the place, so we have to focus on each Ligue 1 game," Mbappe said.

"In previous years, we could have concentrated on the Champions League, but we are behind in Ligue 1. We have to play with intensity to make sure we are not surprised."

There was certainly no shortage of intensity at the Stade Velodrome, even if the one red card – for Dimitri Payet – appeared meek in contrast to the five in the reverse fixture.

PSG lost 1-0 at home and so were determined to respond, Icardi describing a desire for "revenge".

Mbappe added to Telefoot: "Personally, I think [the Classique] has changed a lot. When I arrived, it was not like this, not the same types of matches. It was not the same importance.

"But this year there is a boost and it has regained importance, both for us, the players, and the new staff.

"All week, we prepared like a Champions League match, a big match, a match apart. The team's mentality has changed."

That mentality delivered a 45th PSG victory in 100 Classiques, as Marseille trail on 33 wins against their bitter rivals.

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Ben Spratt

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