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+.
77 – Kylian Mbappé has scored 77 goals in Ligue 1 since his very first one on 20 February 2016 with Monaco, more than any other French player in the Top 5 Euro leagues in that period. Unstoppable. @PSG_English #PSGOL pic.twitter.com/37hI32EAel
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 9, 2020
“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.”
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