Sports

PSG boss on Mbappé exit: ‘We’ll get even better’

Paris Saint-Germain coach Luis Enrique said he was proud to have had Kylian Mbappé in his team and understood the club’s all-time leading scorer’s decision to end his seven-year stay.

Mbappé, whose contract expires this season, announced his departure in a video on Friday after months of speculation about his future. The announcement brings Real Madrid closer to ending their yearslong pursuit of the France international, who is widely regarded as one of the best players in world football.

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“All I can say is marvellous things about Kylian Mbappé as a footballer and person,” Enrique told reporters on Saturday.

“I understand his decision. He has been here for seven years and as a club legend. He has given everything to this club, and this club has given him everything as well. I wish him all the best for the future.

“I have been proud to have him in this team. He has helped us and is a leader, and he has done so with a smile on his face.”

But losing Mbappé, who has scored 255 goals for PSG in all competitions and won six Ligue 1 titles with them, will not change things at the club, according to Enrique.

“These are things that we have known for a long time… it was only made public yesterday,” the coach said. “But it doesn’t change anything in terms of our general outlook. Everything will stay the same.

“Regardless of those who are here or who are absent, my aim is to be stronger next season.”

Enrique said exiting the Champions League after losing to Borussia Dortmund in the semifinals still hurt and it was important for PSG to end the season by winning the French Cup final against Lyon on May 25.

“PSG will continue to be a great team and we’ll get even better. We will bring in players with strong mentality and players who identify with the club… that’s how life works,” he added.

PSG, who have won the Ligue 1 title for the third time in a row, host 12th-placed Toulouse on Sunday, which will be Mbappé’s last home game for them.

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