Lionel Messi has revealed that Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe speaks “perfect Spanish” as he explains how his Spanish-speaking Paris Saint-Germain team-mates have aided his transition to France.
Barcelona’s financial situation forced Messi to move away from Catalonia and the 34-year-old is still adjusting to life away from Camp Nou, scoring just once in his five appearances for PSG across all competitions so far.
However, despite admitting that he found leaving the club he spent 21 years at difficult, while also acknowledging he feels “a little bit lost” in Paris, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner says that having players who speak the same language as him in the dressing room has helped.
“I knew I was coming to a new country and had to start from scratch,” Messi said in an interview with France Football. “Knowing that I had friends in the dressing room made me think that things would be easier to adapt to.
“And I was not wrong, because it was very easy to settle, especially because there are many players who speak Spanish, like me, and some friends like ‘Ney’ [Neymar], ‘Lea’ [Leandro Paredes], ‘Fideo’ [Angel Di Maria], who helped me when I arrived.”
France star Mbappe – who has revealed he instructed PSG in July that he would not sign a new deal – was also mentioned, with Messi praising his command of the Spanish language.
“With a player like [Mbappe], it’s easy to get along. Also, Kylian speaks perfect Spanish, so we have good exchanges off the pitch as well,” continued Messi.
“It makes things easier. Now, I’ve only been here a short time, so it’s still a bit early to draw conclusions. But I’m sure it will work out well.”
PSG ultimately turned down three bids for Mbappe, with the last offer said to be worth up to €200million for a player whose deal runs out at the end of the season.
Expectations are high for the attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, with Messi and Neymar previously forming two-thirds of the fearsome ‘MSN’ trident at Barcelona alongside Luis Suarez that scored a staggering 364 goals in 450 combined appearances.
So far, however, Messi and Neymar have contributed just one goal apiece, with Mbappe netting four and assisting a further five across all competitions.
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