Leonardo Defends Mbappé and Claims PSG Has 2 of the Best Players in the World

Let’s just say Paris Saint-Germain’s sporting director was fired up after the 4-2 win over Olympique Lyonnais.

Speaking to Canal+ (via Culture PSG), Leonardo answered a few questions from the panel and he was in rare form even by his standards.

The PSG executive was asked about the hard-fought win over rivals Lyon and the upcoming meeting with Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 but it was his comments about Kylian Mbappé and Neymar Jr. that caught our attention especially.

“How happy we are to have Mbappé,” Leonardo said. “Mbappé, I even heard things on a personal level about him and that bothers me. If a player leaves the field irritated and is in discussions with the coach, OK, it’s a fault, we talk about it internally but we will settle that. After, to say that he is a spoiled child or this or that, I do not accept it. Because he is an adorable person, also a very committed person and he is a fantastic player.”

Of course, the incident that Leonardo is referring to is the recent sideline altercation between Mbappé and manager Thomas Tuchel where the two were caught in a heated exchange after the young Frenchman was subbed off with PSG up 5-0 over Montpellier HSC.

From there, Leonardo went on to celebrate the fact that both Mbappé and Neymar play for PSG.

“Let’s play a game. Who are the five best players in the world for you?” Leonardo asked the Canal+ panel.

“Neymar, Mbappé, [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo, and [Mohamed] Salah,” Alain Roche, former PSG player, said.

“OK! Stop there! It’s good,” Leonardo interrupted.

“In the top four, there is one who is 35-years-old, one that is 32-years-old, and the two others that you gave are Neymar and Mbappé, they are 28 and 21-years-old and we have that! We are the only ones who have that! I’m a happy sporting director, happy because we have two of the best four players in the world for you! And what are we afraid of?”

Overall, Leonardo’s message in the interview is that PSG should not fear anyone and they don’t view the upcoming tie against Dortmund as a do-or-die situation.

“We have the right to be happy from time to time,” Leonardo said when asked about if he’s worried about Dortmund.

“The team today is first with a 12-point lead; in the Champions League, we almost did the maximum with five wins and a draw.”

“We have an incredible workforce…Why do we have to have this concern about the Champions League Round of 16? Honestly, I don’t see. Why be like this? It will happen.”

“We are not playing a life or death match against Borussia, we are playing a Champions League football match. I think the team is ready today. If we win, it’s good. If we do not win, we will continue and PSG continues to grow. We have to get out of this.”

Refreshing words from Leonardo who has emerged as the leader of PSG since he returned to PSG last summer from AC Milan (he left that sinking ship just in time, eh?).

PSG still have a Coupe de France quarter-final match against Dijon FCO on Wednesday and then a Ligue 1 match against Amiens SC on Saturday before focusing all of their attention on Dortmund on February 18.

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Tags Borussia Dortmund Champions League Kylian Mbappé Leonardo Ligue 1 Neymar Olympique Lyonnais