Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Mbappe fully focused on Paris Saint-Germain despite World Cup heartbreak

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 29 Dec 2022

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Kylian Mbappe will not get over France’s defeat in the World Cup final to Argentina any time soon, but the forward says he is now fully focused on Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite notching a hat-trick for Didier Deschamps side in the final, Mbappe and his international team-mates came up short as Les Bleus were beaten on penalties in the showpiece game of Qatar 2022.

While club-mate Lionel Messi is yet to return to Paris following his triumph, Mbappe made a swift return to domestic action, securing a late 2-1 win against Strasbourg in Ligue 1 on Wednesday despite Neymar being sent off just after the hour-mark.

Speaking after scoring a 96th-minute penalty he had won himself, the 24-year-old acknowledged the pain of France’s loss in Doha will stay with him forever, but stressed he does not feel his team-mates should pay the price for those emotions.

“Personally, I will never stomach it,” he said. “[But] my club is not responsible for this failure with the national team. I try to come back with positive energy.

“I tried to bring a boost to my team, and [we hope to] continue our season undefeated. It was a World Cup – the club has nothing to do with it.”

On making a swift return to PSG from international duty, Mbappe underlined his commitment to keeping club and country matters separate, adding: “The message is simple. It shows that no matter what happens with the national team, PSG are something else. I am still determined to bring all the trophies back to the capital.”

Mbappe’s late goal against Strasbourg means Christophe Galtier’s side have dropped points just twice in Ligue 1 this season, with an unbeaten Champions League record to match too.

They next play second-place Lens on New Year’s Day, where they will hope to open up further daylight between them and their main title rival, who they are eight points clear of having played a game more.

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