Kylian Mbappe reveals Paul Pogba chat about ‘special’ Marcus Rashford before PSG v Man Utd
Kylian Mbappe has opened up on his conversations with Paul Pogba about Manchester United attacker Marcus Rashford, who the United midfielder insists is a “special” talent. Paris Saint-Germain attacker Mbappe and Rashford go head-to-head on Tuesday night in the Champions League group stages.
PSG – runners-up to Bayern Munich last year- and United kickstart their European campaigns with a heavyweight Group H showdown as both sides look to lay an early marker.
It will be the third time they have locked horns since the 2018-19 season, when the two met in the last 16 and United recorded a dramatic second-leg win to turn the tie around.
After losing 2-0 at Old Trafford, United won 3-1 at PSG courtesy of a 94th-minute Rashford penalty after Mbappe had netted in the first leg.
Both attackers will be looking to make their mark again at the Parc des Princes as French champions PSG look to avenge their shock exit from the competition two seasons ago.
And in advance of the clash, Mbappe admits he has spoken of Rashford’s abilities with France team-mate and United ace Pogba while on international duty.
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But it is not just Rashford’s talents on the pitch that have impressed Mbappe, 21, who is expected to be in the conversation as the best player in the world in the coming years.
Rashford’s charity work has seen him be a key figure in pressuring the government to tackle the problems of child poverty within the United Kingdom.
The 22-year-old, who received an MBE for his efforts, helped to ensure the government provided free school meals over the summer.
And World Cup winner Mbappe, who similarly has a charity – Inspired by KM – to help children live out their dreams, insists Rashford has his “full respect” for his work off the field.
“When you take a penalty in that situation, how much practice you have put on the training ground doesn’t matter,” Mbappe said to the Daily Mirror, reliving Rashford’s spot-kick from their previous meeting.
“It is about confidence and he is a player who plays with so much confidence. He is one of the most dangerous forward players in England.
“Paul [Pogba] has spoken about how special he is – and he does not talk about players in such a way often.
“To tackle an issue as important as child poverty is one of the most important things that somebody can do – so I have full respect that he has been doing that and trying to make a real change.
“I do think there is a requirement for players to use their position to make a difference in the world. We have been given so much and it is important that we give back.”
PSG are the favourites for this group stage battle as they look to go one better than last year, losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the final in Lisbon in August.
United have suffered a chaotic start to the Premier League campaign in which they have scored nine goals in four games but conceded 12.
Their 3-1 and 6-1 home defeats to Crystal Palace and Tottenham have overshadowed 3-2 and 4-1 wins over Brighton and Newcastle.
But Mbappe is wary of the threats that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will pose in the French capital and insists the Red Devils are not to be underestimated.
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He added: “What happened in previous seasons is not important anymore. This club has a clear ambition to win the Champions League.
“Last season we came close – but close is not good enough for us anymore. We have some of the best players in Europe – and the target is clear.
“We know Manchester United are a team that has many good players – and we have to treat the game with respect.
“Their form in the Premier League is not relevant for this game. The Champions League is different. They have players that can hurt any team and we must be prepared and ready for them.”
Mbappe is expected to start in the PSG attack alongside Neymar although their former strike partner Edinson Cavani will not make his debut for United.
The Uruguayan, 33, has not travelled with the United team having only started training with his new club on Sunday.
Cavani scored 200 goals in 301 games for PSG, winning six Ligue 1 titles, but departed on a free in the summer before signing a two-year deal with United.
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