Friday, April 26, 2019

Pele comparisons do not help Mbappe, says Tuchel

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 2 Apr 2019

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Kylan Mbappe is capable of anything but should not be compared to Brazil great Pele, according to Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel.

Mbappe will meet Pele in person for the first time at a commercial event in Paris on Tuesday, with the pair having previously exchanged complimentary messages on social media.

The France star became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele’s efforts against Sweden back in 1958 when Les Blues beat Croatia 4-2 in last year’s showpiece, making romantic comparisons irresistible to many.

“He can achieve these goals, anything is possible for him [but] it does not help him to be compared to Pele. That’s [looking] too far into the future,” Tuchel told a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s Coupe de France semi-final against Nantes, where Mbappe will lead the charge for PSG in the absence of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria.

“It’s not good for his concentration. The next opportunity to improve is on the field in training.

“It is easy and difficult at the same time, because everyone sees that he is exceptional. It’s like that in sports. It’s exhausting and demanding, but it’s the way to go.”

Tuchel was nevertheless keen to state he was not talking down the 20-year-old forward.

“Mbappe is an extraordinary player. His mentality is huge, he added.

“He always wants to score. He’s like a shark smelling the scent of blood. If you throw in a little blood, it happens.

“If he feels the goal or a dangerous situation, he is there – every game, every training session – in front of goal.

“It is his quality. He has to score more, more and more.”

Mbappe has scored 32 times in 36 games this season for runaway Ligue 1 leaders PSG.

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