Mbappe is not a spoiled child, says PSG director Leonardo

By Daniel Lewis 10 February 2020 6
Mbappe is not a spoiled child, says PSG director Leonardo

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo defended Kylian Mbappe following his strop at being substituted early by head coach Thomas Tuchel, insisting the star forward is not a "spoiled child".

Mbappe vocally questioned Tuchel's decision to replace him after 68 minutes with PSG already five goals ahead in last weekend's 5-0 Ligue 1 rout of Montpellier.

Former France international Christophe Dugarry criticised the youngster's reaction and said he has lost respect for his 21-year-old compatriot.

However, Mbappe has since played 90 minutes in back-to-back games for the Ligue 1 champions and Leonardo attempted to further play down the incident amid links to Real Madrid.

"I heard things about Mbappe. On his personality. It makes me feel uncomfortable," he told Canal+. 

"If a player leaves the field, and talks to the coach, okay... 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. 

"He's an adorable, very committed person and a fantastic player."

Mbappe has formed a formidable partnership with Neymar this term, scoring 38 goals between them in all competitions.

And Leonardo questioned the negativity surrounding PSG, who are on a 21-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

"In the top four players in the world, there is one 35 years old, another 32 years old and the other two are 28 and 21 years old," Leonardo said.

"And those 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 remain on course for a domestic and European quadruple as they prepare for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund later this month.

The French giants have been eliminated at this stage in the past three seasons, but Leonardo vowed his side will take on Bundesliga outfit Dortmund with no fear.

"In recent times, I have taken a step back and I have tried to see how it is going [around the club]," he said. 

"Whenever the knockout round of the Champions League looms, there is the same trial. 

"We're starting to talk too much. We say that this team is not ready, that Ligue 1 is not at the level, 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 first, with a 12-point lead. We have an incredible squad. 

"Our best players are in shape. Why do we have to be worried every time when the last 16 arrives? Why do we have to stress? It won't be a matter of life and death. 

"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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Daniel Lewis

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