PSG striker Mbappé fit to face Man City in Champions League
PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappé is fit. Neymar is happy.
With its pair of strikers feeling well, Paris Saint-Germain couldn’t be in much better shape heading into the Champions League semifinals against Manchester City on Wednesday.
Mbappé has shaken off a minor thigh injury and is fit for the clash between two of the most potent attacking sides in Europe, both chasing a maiden Champions League trophy.
Mbappé came off with the injury near the end of PSG’s 3-1 win at Metz in the French league on Saturday, jeopardizing his chances of playing in the first leg at Parc des Princes. However, the 22-year-old Mbappé will be in the squad for the match against City, with PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino saying Tuesday that left back Juan Bernat and reserve goalkeeper Alexandre Letellier are the only players missing.
Mbappé, one of the world’s most talented players, has scored eight goals in this season’s Champions League, second only to the 10 netted by Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
“Mbappé is a great player, he scores a lot. What I wish for him is he can reach the highest level he can and be very successful,” Neymar said before reflecting on his own situation in the French capital.
Neymar, who has yet to extend his deal with PSG, said he has never felt so happy in Paris since he joined from Barcelona in 2017.
“I have already talked about it. It’s not really a topic right now, my contract is still running for two years,” Neymar said. “But what I’d like you to know is I really feel great, I feel happy about this season. By far, I have been the most happy this season.”
Neymar went through another injury-hit season but has been back to his best recently, helping his team get past defending champion Bayern Munich in the previous round.
“Today my main objective is the Champions League, not the Ballon d’Or,” Neymar said when asked about his personal ambitions. “That’s not my main priority. Currently, I want to be a leader for my team, I like to win the Champions League. That’s the most important thing. In the future, I will need to remember that I have managed to win this Champions League once, twice, maybe three times.”
Neymar has already won Europe’s biggest tournament with Barcelona but has yet to claim the coveted trophy with PSG, which lost to Bayern in last year’s final. Like PSG, City is lacking Champions League pedigree, having reached the semifinals this year only for the second time after making it to the last four in 2016.
“This is the second time we have got to the semifinals, so there is not much history for our club here,” City manager Pep Guardiola said, “but we will start to build it.”
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