Kylian Mbappe talked up the team spirit at Paris Saint-Germain as the French champions prepare for their Trophee des Champions clash with Rennes.
Much of the talk at PSG during the close season has centered around the future of wantaway forward Neymar, who is reportedly pushing for a move to former club Barcelona.
Gianluigi Buffon and Adrien Rabiot both left for Juventus while young talent Moussa Diaby joined Bayer Leverkusen and Christopher Nkunku moved to RB Leipzig.
But Mbappe insisted the preparations for the new campaign have been positive, with the club’s new recruits – Ander Herrera, Pablo Sarabia and Abdou Diallo among them – settling in well.
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) July 29, 2019
“I was very happy to hook up again with the squad, all smiles, because we know this period helps us later in the season,” Mbappe told PSG’s official website. “I’m working hard to be ready for the campaign.
“Living together is very important and we are team-mates that will spend a long season together. One of our aims is to make sure the new players settle in well and feel at home so that they can give their best on the pitch for the team.
“That’s the best solution for everyone. It’s very important, and I think everything will be fine with the new guys, everyone likes them and that’s a good starting point!”
Mbappe has started all four of PSG’s pre-season friendlies and has scored three times, including the opening goal in Tuesday’s 3-0 win against Sydney FC.
“Pre-season isn’t necessarily what the players enjoy the most, but I’m happy to be here because since the start of my career, I haven’t had a full pre-season like this, so this is new for me,” he said.
“It’s true that it’s very difficult, especially with the heat. But we know it will help us when we get back to France where it won’t be as hot. Training will be different and it won’t be so difficult to make the same efforts.
“This is the hard part, but we know we have to go through this. We had a lot of injuries last season, so we need to keep working hard to stay in shape and fit in order to play a lot of matches without injury.”
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) August 1, 2019
Next up for the Parisians is Saturday’s Trophee des Champions showdown with Rennes, who earned a shock penalty shoot-out win when the sides faced off in the Coupe de France final in April.
And last term’s Ligue 1 top scorer Mbappe, dismissed in that final defeat, has revenge on his mind ahead of the match in Shenzhen.
“We will have a little feeling of revenge, I think,” he said. “This is the start of a new season and that loss in the final really hurt. But above all, this is the start of a new campaign and we will give everything we have to try and win a first trophy.”
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