In 2017 when he left Monaco, Kylian Mbappé had met Pep Guardiola, whom he will meet again this Tuesday evening during the semi-final first leg of the Champions League between PSG and Manchester City (9 p.m., on RMC Sport).
Pep Guardiola does not travel to Paris as a fan this Wednesday for the half first leg of the Champions League PSG-Manchester City (9 p.m., on RMC Sport). But the Catalan coach does not shy away from his pleasure in meeting Parisian stars, like Neymar, whose admiration he displayed on Tuesday at a press conference. He will also greet Kylian Mbappé with great pleasure before or after the meeting. « Mbappé will have football at his feet in the years to come, he predicted on Tuesday. He scores a lot of goals like Haaland. He’s an exceptional player and he seems to be a nice guy. He’s like Neymar, it is good for football. «
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The two men know each other well, they even met in 2017 at the end of the bright season of the young French striker with Monaco. The latter had also participated in leaving Manchester City in an epic round of 16 with a goal in the first leg and another in the return (5-3, 3-1).
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« It’s good to work with people like these »
The following summer, the Citizens had strengthened by drawing in the Monegasque ranks (Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy) and had also tried the blow with Kylian Mbappé. Real Madrid also held the rope but the boy from Bondy had finally chosen PSG, the club from his native region. The choice of the heart had prevailed. But his meeting with Pep Guardiola had marked him, as he himself had confided in an interview with L’Equipe.
« He is really a coach who breathes football, he said some time after his signing in Paris, in September 2017. He won everywhere and he gives you a passion, he really makes you want to play, not to think than the game, because he only talks about the game. He does not even mention what is happening next. Coach Emery (then PSG coach, editor’s note), also talks a lot about the game. coaches who only talk about the game. Because that’s what concerns us. These two coaches have a passion for football that goes beyond their profession. It’s good to work with people like these -the. »
« I didn’t say no to Guardiola, I said no to Manchester City »
« When I saw him, we talked about tactical patterns, about the way he would use me, added Mbappé, in a very transparent way. We talked more about that than about my qualities, because I know myself better than nobody. Even Guardiola can’t tell me what I know. «
Four years later, the admiration between the two men still seems relevant. According to L’Equipe, Manchester City is also still one of the potential contenders to recruit the French international, who has still not extended his contract with Paris, running until 2022. The possibility of staying in Paris is still on the table, like that of a departure to Real Madrid, longtime courtier. What about working with Guardiola one day? « I did not say no to Guardiola, I said no to Manchester City, » Mbappé had maliciously clarified in 2017.