PSG Thrash Club Brugge In Champions League

Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentine midfielder Angel Di Maria (R) challenges Club Brugge’s Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Brugge and Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) on October 22, 2019 at the Jan Breydel stadium in Bruges. Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

 

Substitute Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain moved a step closer to the Champions League last 16 with a 5-0 victory over previously unbeaten Club Brugge on Tuesday.

The World Cup winner, who has only started four games this season due to thigh and hamstring injuries netted three time in the space of 20 minutes to help PSG go five points clear of Real Madrid, who beat Galatasaray 1-0, in second place in Group A.

Maurco Icardi netted the visitors other two goals as fellow Argentinian Angel Di Maria directly set-up three of his side’s efforts.

For the third time in Europe this season PSG’s Thomas Tuchel was unable to start his attacking trio of suspended Neymar and injured Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.

Brugge coach Philippe Clement, who has guided the club to the top of the Belgian Pro League, was without captain Ruud Vormer as the Netherlands midfielder serves a suspension for a red card he received in the draw at Real.

The visitors claimed an early lead as Di Maria received a long-range ball on the right flank.

The Argentina winger curled in an early cross with the outside of his left foot and Icardi beat Simon Mignolet at his near post after seven minutes.

Champions League debutant Charles De Ketelaere missed a good chance to equalise after half an hour but the 18-year-old failed to worry Keylor Navas.

Icardi had a chance to double the Parisians’ advantage six minutes into the second-half but his effort across goal was well-saved my Mignolet.

 Decisive Di Maria 

Mbappe entered the fray 60 seconds later and instantly dropped deep hungrily looking for possession.

The Ballon d’Or candidate repeated his feats from Friday’s Ligue 1 victory over Nice by scoring and claiming an assist within the final half an hour.

He claimed his first of proceedings with 28 minutes of the game to go after another Di Maria curling cross.

The World Cup winner then set-up Icardi for his fifth in four games less than 60 seconds later.

Mbappe’s second and third goals of the match both came from lovely Di Maria passes as PSG marked their intentions in the competitions with a clinical performance.

The two clubs meet again on November 6 in the French capital with Neymar expected to be sidelined with a hamstring injury picked up on international duty.

AFP

Champions League: Mbappe Set For Role Against Club Brugge

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Olympique de Lyon (OL) on October 7, 2018 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

 

Still fighting for full fitness France World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe will feature for Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League group game at Club Brugge on Tuesday, but will not play 90 minutes according to coach Thomas Tuchel.

The lightening quick 20-year-old forward has been suffering from a thigh strain since early August but came off the bench to score against Nice at the weekend.

“It’s too early for him to play 90 minutes so we need to work out whether we want him to start the match or finish it,” said Tuchel on Monday.

“It’s the same with Edi,” he said referring to Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, who has had a niggling hip complaint.

Mbappe has tried out his thigh three times in his bid for fitness with cameo appearances at Bordeaux and Galatasaray.

“They have been out for a long time and while others have seized their chance we are stronger now they are back,” said Tuchel.

PSG sit top of their Champions League group with six points while Club Brugge are second on two, with Galatasaray and Real Madrid both on one.

Mbappe ‘Not Ready’ After Thigh Injury, Leaves France Squad

France’s forward Kylian Mbappe arrives for a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, southwest of Paris on October 7, 2019 ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifying football match between Iceland and France. Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

 

Kylian Mbappe has been ruled out of France’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey and “needs more time” to recover from a thigh injury, coach Didier Deschamps said on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward has not started a game since August.

France, who sit second in Group H, visit third-placed Iceland on Friday before hosting group leaders Turkey on Monday.

“He left for the simple reason that he wasn’t ready,” said Deschamps.

The France boss added that Mbappe “will need more time” and “wasn’t comfortable”.

Mbappe has been replaced in the squad by Borussia Moenchengladbach striker Alassane Plea, who made his only previous international appearance in a friendly against Uruguay last November.

World Cup-winner Mbappe initially returned with substitute appearances against Bordeaux last month and Galatasaray last week, but PSG coach Thomas Tuchel then said he “needed more treatment” before he missed the win over Angers.

PSG Hit With Mbappe, Cavani Injury

 

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe will be out for four weeks and Edinson Cavani for three weeks after both came off injured in a Ligue 1 match against Toulouse on Sunday, the French champions have confirmed.

French World Cup-winning star Mbappe limped off after hurting his left hamstring during a trademark sprint in PSG’s 4-0 win at the Parc des Princes.

The injury means he will miss PSG’s opening Champions League group game, which is set for September 17 or 18.

He is also set to sit out three league matches as well as France’s Euro 2020 qualifiers at home to Albania and Andorra early next month.

READ ALSO: I Tried To Copy Messi And LeBron, Says Griezmann After Barca Brace

Fellow forward Cavani came off with a hip injury in the same game and PSG confirmed the Uruguayan will be out for three weeks, meaning he could be ready in time for the start of their Champions League campaign.

The injuries come as uncertainty continues to surround Neymar.

The Brazilian’s desired move back to Spain has yet to materialise with just a week remaining before the European transfer window closes.

However, even if he stays, the world’s most expensive player is suspended for the first three games of this season’s Champions League.

AFP

PSG Say Mbappe To Stay At Club Next Season

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian MBappe (R) vies with Dijon’s Island goalkeeper Alex Runarsson during the French Ligue 1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Dijon at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on May 18, 2019. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

French champions Paris Saint-Germain on Monday insisted that star striker Kylian Mbappe would stay at the club next season, despite the World Cup-winner hinting that he could leave.

The 20-year-old said on Sunday that he wanted more “responsibilities, maybe at PSG, maybe elsewhere” after winning the Ligue 1 player of the season award.

But PSG said in a statement on Twitter: “Strong ties have united PSG and Kylian Mbappe for two years and that story will continue next season.”

AFP 

Pele Back In Brazil After Hospital Stay In France

Brazilian football great Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pele, arrives at Guarulhos International Airport, in Guarulhos some 25km from Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 9, 2019.
NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

 

Football great Pele arrived back in Brazil Tuesday after a six-day hospital stay in France.

The three-time World Cup winner was discharged from a Paris hospital late Monday after treatment for a urinary infection following an appearance at a promotional event in the French capital with France striker Kylian Mbappe.

Pele left the Sao Paulo-Guarulhos airport in Brazil in a wheelchair and was taken away by van, an AFP reporter said.

The 78-year-old’s discharge from the hospital came after current Brazil star Neymar, who plays alongside Mbappe for Paris Saint-Germain, paid him a visit in hospital in the Parisian suburbs.

Neymar posted a photo on his Instagram account Monday of himself alongside a smiling Pele in his hospital bed with the two holding hands.

READ ALSOHazard Too Good For West Ham As Chelsea Go Third

Brazil’s G1 reported that Pele had intended to come out of the hospital on Saturday to return to Brazil, but had been delayed by further tests.

The infection was not serious and was under control, members of Pele’s entourage had said.

Pele has had several health issues in recent years.

A similar infection put him in intensive care in November 2014.

In 2016, Pele, who played 1,363 professional matches, scoring 1,281 goals, was unable to light the flame at the Rio Olympics because of severe pain in the hip.

In January 2018, he cancelled a trip to London fearing a “stressful” and “tiring” journey.

AFP

Pele ‘Doing Well’ After Undergoing Treatment In Paris Hospital

Brazilian football legend Pele take part in a meeting with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and France national football team forward Kylian Mbappe (unseen) at the Hotel Lutetia in Paris on April 2, 2019.
FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Football legend Pele was taken to a Paris hospital as a precaution on Wednesday after suffering from an “infection” but is “doing well”, according to members of his entourage.

The 78-year-old Brazilian three-time World Cup winner was being treated for “a light fever” prior to the long flight back to his home country, the sources told AFP, confirming earlier reports by French radio station RMC.

According to Brazilian media group Globo Esporte, Pele will remain in hospital overnight and “will be discharged on Thursday after some more additional tests”.

Pele, who won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970, was in Paris for a promotional appearance alongside France star Kylian Mbappe.

The declining health of the player known as ‘O Rei’ has been a cause for concern in recent times, and the planned meeting with Mbappe had already been postponed last November.

READ ALSO: Footballer Legend Pele Undergoes Treatment In Paris Hospital

Previously, Pele had admitted to not being up to the task of lighting the flame at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Before that, Pele spent time in intensive care in Brazil in late 2014 following a kidney complaint.

“I wasn’t afraid of dying as I am a man with three hearts,” he joked at the time, alluding to the translation from Portuguese of the name of the town of his birth, Tres Coracoes.

On Tuesday, the man who was named FIFA’s player of the 20th century spent the entirety of his encounter with Mbappe sitting down but appeared on good form at the event organised by watch manufacturer Hublot.

Mbappe last year became only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final, following in Pele’s footsteps, in France’s 4-2 victory over Croatia when he was still just 19.

Pele achieved the feat as a 17-year-old in 1958 and claims to have gone on to score over 1,000 goals in his career, during which he starred at club level for Santos and later the New York Cosmos.

“It’s possible, I scored exactly 1,025, so 1,000 goals is possible for him,” Pele said when asked if Paris Saint-Germain superstar Mbappe, now 20, could also reach that milestone.

It has previously been said that Pele scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 matches during his glittering career which spanned two decades.

Pele also told Mbappe, who has been repeatedly linked with a move away from PSG, that the key to smashing goalscoring records is playing in the very best teams.

“People tend to say that goals are the most important thing — I thank God for having scored so many in my career — but we must know that we need to be well-supported, you can’t score on your own, you need a good teammate, that’s very important,” he said.

AFP

 

PSG Showed There’s Nothing To Fear Without Neymar, Says Mbappe

Paris Saint-Germain’s French striker Kylian Mbappe passes Pogba during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 football match between  United and PSG at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on February 12, 2019. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Kylian Mbappe said Paris Saint-Germain showed they need not be afraid of being without Neymar or Edinson Cavani as the French club won 2-0 at Manchester United in their Champions League last 16, first leg on Tuesday.

“We need to stop with the scare stories. People need to stop being afraid. Of course, Neymar is hugely important and Cavani is fundamental to us, but football is played on the pitch and we showed that today,” Mbappe told RMC Sport.

The World Cup-winning forward scored PSG’s second goal on the hour at Old Trafford after Presnel Kimpembe’s 53rd-minute opener as Thomas Tuchel’s team took firm control of the tie before the second leg next month.

It was an outstanding performance from PSG in the absence of the injured Neymar and Cavani — the world’s most expensive player for one, as well as the French champions’ all-time top scorer.

READ ALSO: Cavani Likely To Miss PSG’s Champions League Clash With United

In their absence, PSG still succeeded in inflicting the first defeat on United since the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their interim manager.

“In the second half we came out with the best intentions because we knew they wanted to step up the rhythm and especially get a goal at home,” added Mbappe, whose goal was his 23rd of the season in all competitions.

“We are happy, but it’s only half-time in the tie and we need to continue preparing well because I think in the last 20 minutes we dropped off a bit physically.

“We have three weeks now to make sure we are ready for the return and ensure we qualify.”

Coach Tuchel said his team improved as the game went on, while the hosts suffered after seeing both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial go off injured.

“We lost too many easy balls in the first half but the second half was really excellent,” Tuchel said.

“We deserved to win, and to do so here at Old Trafford just now, I congratulate my team – but it’s only half-time and we still have to play at the Parc des Princes.”

AFP

Pele Sends ‘Happy Birthday’ Wishes To Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe/ AFP

 

Kylian Mbappe got a glowing “happy birthday” wish from Pele on Thursday, further feeding football fans’ comparisons of the 20-year-old with the Brazilian legend.

“Only special talents show themselves so early. Happy birthday, Kylian. At just 20, I am excited by what is still to come,” Pele tweeted in English and Portuguese.

The French forward scored four goals in this year’s World Cup, including one in the final that saw France beat Croatia 4-2 to clinch the trophy.

That made him just the second teenager to score in a World Cup final after Pele, who did so in 1958.

Pele, 78, has several times used his Twitter account to express his admiration for Paris Saint-Germain’s Mbappe.

After the World Cup triumph, Pele tweeted: “If Kylian keeps equalling my records like this I may have to dust my boots off again.”

Mbappe responded: “The king will always remain king.”

Early this month, Pele gave an interview to the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper in which he highlighted the similarities between his younger self and the French player.

“We are alike and we are more or less the same age,” joked the Brazilian who won his first World Cup at just 17.

FFP: PSG ‘Vehemently Deny’ Plan To Sell Mbappe, Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe (L) falls on the football as he vies for the ball with Strasbourg’s French defender Kenny Lala (R) during the French L1 football match between Strasbourg and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at the Stade de la Meinau stadium, in Strasbourg, on December 5, 2018.
Patrick HERTZOG / AFP

 

French champions Paris Saint-Germain have quashed reports the club could be forced to sell either Kylian Mbappe or Neymar in a bid to circumvent eventual Financial Fair Play (FFP) sanctions.

Qatar-owned PSG are one of a number of clubs under scrutiny from UEFA’s FFP regulations after splashing a combined total of more than 400 million euros in 2017 for Brazil star Neymar and World Cup winner Mbappe.

Rival clubs and even the president of Spain’s La Liga championship, Javier Tebas, bemoan the lack of sanctions for PSG, who according to recent leaked documents have violated the strict financial regulations put in place by European football’s ruling body.

UEFA still have their eye on PSG and their finances and daily sports newspaper L’Equipe claimed late on Friday that any future sanctions could see the club sell one of their most coveted stars.

But PSG were quick to shoot down the report.

“In an article published on their website on Friday night, L’Equipe dared to say that ‘PSG is ready to lose Kylian Mbappe or Neymar Jr to avoid (FFP) sanctions’,” said a statement issued by the club.

PSG “vehemently denies these totally false and ridiculous allegations, which serve only to recreate a climate of tension between the club and this media outlet.”

The front page of L’Equipe on Saturday carried pictures of both Mbappe, the 19-year-old who struck in a 4-2 World Cup final win over Croatia last summer, and Brazil star Neymar while page two claimed the club are “ready to lose a star”.

UEFA’s FFP rules mean clubs are forbidden from spending more money than they generate.

UEFA’s auditors opened an investigation into PSG in September 2017 following the purchase of Neymar from Barcelona and Mbappe from Monaco earlier that summer.

The case was shelved in June 2018, before being reopened in September 2018. PSG reacted by appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), claiming it has met UEFA’s FFP demands.

A UEFA spokesman said last month: “We will have to wait for CAS’s decision on PSG’s appeal before looking at this issue.”

Mbappe Wins Best Young Player Ballon d’Or Prize

Mbappe Wins Best Young Player Ballon d'Or Prize
Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe (R) reacts after receiving the Koppa Trophy from past former French footballer and host David Ginola during the 2018 FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Grand Palais in Paris on December 3, 2018. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Kylian Mbappe was named winner of the Kopa Trophy for young player of the year at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris on Monday.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward, who does not turn 20 until later this month, starred as France won the World Cup and also won the best young player award in Russia.

The new award — named after French former Ballond’Or winner Raymond Kopa — was voted for by 33 living former winners of the main Ballon d’Or prize. Mbappe was also among the 30 nominees to win that award.

Mbappe — who was accompanied at the ceremony by his father and his younger brother Ethan — scored four goals at the World Cup, including one in the final as France beat Croatia 4-2 in Moscow.

In doing so he became just the second teenager to score in a World Cup final after Brazilian great Pele, who achieved the feat in 1958.

A French champion last season with PSG following a 180 million-euro ($204m) move from Monaco, Mbappe is the top scorer in Ligue 1 this season with 12 goals in 10 appearances.

He has scored 32 goals in 56 games for club and country in the calendar year.

AFP

PSG Need To Boost Confidence, Says Mbappe

 Kylian Mbappe

 

Paris Saint-Germain’s teenage superstar Kylian Mbappe has told AFP that, for all the Qatar-owned club’s huge investments in recent years, they will need the breaks to fall their way if they are to finally fulfil their dream of winning the Champions League.

The French giants face Liverpool in a crunch group game at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, when a defeat could end their hopes of even reaching the knockout rounds, unthinkable for a club with their ambitions.

They may have won all 14 Ligue 1 games this season under new coach Thomas Tuchel — meaning a successful defence of the domestic title is inevitable — but PSG underperformed in a 3-2 defeat in Liverpool.

Two draws against Napoli followed, and now another defeat against Jurgen Klopp’s side and a win for Napoli against Red Star Belgrade at the same time would send Paris packing.

“We have struggled a bit so far, but we are still in the running and we have our fate in our own hands. I think that in order to win a competition you need things to click into place,” Mbappe said in an interview with AFP.

“There are games in which you think, at first sight, that nothing unusual is going to happen. And then there is maybe a little moment in the game — it can be a half, or a spell in which you are on top — and your team grows in confidence and things go in your favour, to take you far in a competition like this.”

It is not just on the field that PSG need things to go their way, with Tuchel currently sweating on the fitness of both Mbappe and Neymar for Wednesday’s game.

Mbappe came off with a shoulder injury during France’s friendly against Uruguay last week, while Neymar hurt a groin playing for Brazil the same night. Both players watched from the stands as PSG laboured to a 1-0 win over Toulouse at the weekend.

An injury to Neymar cost Paris dear against Real Madrid in the Champions League last season, and they will be desperate to have both players fit.

 Learning from World Cup 

Mbappe, meanwhile, knows exactly what it takes at this level, having starred in France’s glorious World Cup campaign in Russia, scoring in the 4-2 final win over Croatia.

He also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League with Monaco two seasons ago. In contrast, Paris endured four consecutive exits in the quarter-finals before back-to-back last-16 losses in the last two seasons.

But Mbappe — who turns 20 next month — believes PSG can learn from France’s campaign in Russia, and sees their 4-3 win over Argentina in the last 16 as a reference point.

“At the World Cup, during the group stage, nobody thought we would go on to win it,” said the forward.

“I had said our aim was to win it and people laughed at me a bit. So it can be difficult to look too far forward, all the more so in the Champions League where there are so many matches.”

PSG have not beaten one of Europe’s biggest names since a 3-0 win over Bayern Munich during the group stage last season, and they can ill afford another below-par performance against Liverpool.

“We are not missing much. It is not much but at the same time it is a lot, because in top-level football it is the little details that are the most important,” admitted Mbappe, who has netted 13 times in 13 games this season.

What Mbappe has achieved is incredible given his age, and he is now hoping for a signature performance in Europe for PSG before finding out whether his glorious year will be capped by the Ballon d’Or — Mbappe is one of the finalists for the prize, with the ceremony taking place in Paris next Monday.

“I always say that the Champions League is the best competition in terms of coming up against top-level players.

“It is a real pleasure to play against great defenders, it helps you progress and brings out the best in you. It is just a pleasure. I want more of it!”

AFP