Saturday, December 5, 2020

Mbappe backs Neymar to realise Ballon d´Or dream if he wins Champions League

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 18 Aug 2020

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Kylian Mbappe believes Neymar would be worthy of winning the Ballon d’Or if he helps guide Paris Saint-Germain to Champions League glory.

Football’s most coveted individual prize will not be awarded in 2020, with organisers France Football citing disruption caused to elite football by the coronavirus pandemic in their decision.

Nevertheless, Neymar turned in a display worthy of such elite recognition during PSG’s comfortable 3-0 semi-final victory over RB Leipzig on Tuesday.

Should they lift a maiden European title, Mbappe believes his team-mate will have done his hopes of one day being named the best player in the world no harm at all.

“I’m really sure if we win the Champions League, he could win the Ballon d’Or,” Mbappe told reporters in Lisbon following his first start since suffering ankle ligament damage during last month’s Coupe de France final.

“He would love to win it and I would love it for him, and this would mean we win the Champions League.”

Mbappe and Neymar’s impressive link-up on the field was evident throughout, even if it was the third member of PSG’s frontline – Angel Di Maria – who helped himself to a goal and two assists.

“As our coach said we understand each other very well on the pitch,” Mbappe said. “It’s important for the whole team.

“It’s really comfortable to play alongside a player like Neymar. He’s one of the best in the world and proved that again today.

“He didn’t score but it’s not the most important thing. Instead, Di Maria benefited.”

Mbappe starred as France won the 2018 World Cup in Russia and he sees similarities in the condensed finals tournament in Lisbon.

“To be honest, yes [it is similar],” he said. “We’ve managed to put together a team where everybody knows the qualities and importance and also weak points of each other.

“I was lucky to win the World Cup and we’ve another great team here. You have high expectations for your team-mates.

“I can’t tell you who will win the final but this can help you win the final.”

Bayern Munich or Lyon lie in wait for Thomas Tuchel’s side, although it is a showpiece occasion Mbappe feared he would have no part in following his setback last month.

“The evening when I picked up the injury I didn’t believe I could make it,” he explained.

“I thought it was over and cried all night. Next morning I got up and told myself I’d give all I have – it was ligaments that hurt and they can take a long time.

“Maybe I was too long by myself but I regained hope and wanted to regain this objective.

“I thought the team needs me not only on the pitch but even I can’t play. That’s why I didn’t want to be negative.”

Mbappe added: “The injury is not over yet but I feel well, better and better every day.

“I don’t have any pain but we have to be careful. Still I’m ready to give everything on the pitch. All I want to do is win.”

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