Real Madrid should be punished for their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe, according to Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo.

Mbappe's contract at PSG is due to expire next year and Madrid have been open in their admiration for the France international.

Madrid president Florentino Perez suggested earlier this week that Los Blancos were optimistic about getting positive news on Mbappe in January – though he quickly followed that up by saying his comments were misinterpreted.

Karim Benzema then said Mbappe moving to the Santiago Bernabeu was only "a question of time".

PSG were reported to have rejected multiple bids for Mbappe from Madrid during the most recent transfer window, though Leonardo still feels the Spanish giants have been posturing for the best part of two years in the hope of getting the striker on a free transfer, and he says their conduct should be punished.

"From Madrid they deny, but I think Real Madrid have been doing a job to buy Mbappe [on a free transfer] for a long time," Leonardo said at the Festival dello Sport.

 

"For two years they have been speaking publicly about Mbappe. This must be punished.

"From Real Madrid I see a lack of respect for Mbappe. He is not a normal player, he is one of the best in the world.

"The manager, the board, Madrid players spoke about Kylian... I think it's part of their plan. Not respectful."

Mbappe confirmed earlier this month that he wanted to leave PSG in pre-season and Madrid was the only club he wanted to join.

Nevertheless, he did not rule out signing a new deal with PSG, and his mother even claimed this week that Mbappe is still in talks over a contract extension.

"Our idea is to extend Kylian Mbappe's contract," Leonardo added. "Nothing has changed in our plans.

"Kylian is a jewel, he is incredibly perfect for PSG. Then we have Kylian, Leo [Messi], Neymar. We've never planned PSG's future without Mbappe."

 

Karim Benzema has declared his determination to win the Ballon d'Or after taking centre stage at Real Madrid since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure.

The France striker has been Madrid's attacking spearhead and has taken over the captaincy following the exit of Sergio Ramos, reflecting his standing with the Spanish giants.

With three LaLiga titles and four Champions League wins in 12 years, Benzema has accrued plenty of silverware while with Los Blancos.

Now, individual acclaim is regularly coming his way, with Benzema stepping out of Ronaldo's long shadow and becoming the talisman.

He has topped the 20-goal mark in LaLiga in the last three seasons and has nine strikes in eight games so far this term in the Spanish top flight, with Madrid top of the table.

With Lionel Messi having moved on to Paris Saint-Germain, Benzema has a major claim to be the star turn in LaLiga, and a first Pichichi trophy, which goes to the league's top scorer, is an obvious target.

Ahead of his 34th birthday in December, Benzema has perhaps never been a more credible contender for the Ballon d'Or, although the likes of Messi, Jorginho and Robert Lewandowski might deny him this time around. They, along with Benzema, were selected on a shortlist on Friday.

"Since I was a kid, it was always a dream of mine to win the Ballon d'Or... it's the dream for most players," Benzema told AS.

"It's true that football is a team game but when you help the side to win, when you're instrumental in triumphs, when you score winning goals, it's natural for any player to aspire to win the Ballon d'Or.

"Of course, I'll work as hard as I can to win that trophy and I hope, someday, fulfil the dream I had when I was a young boy."

 

Carlo Ancelotti, in the early weeks of his second spell as Madrid head coach, spoke glowingly of Benzema in August, saying: "He is a very complete player. Now he is more complete than five years ago."

Benzema feels personal recognition has been hard earned during his time in Spain.

"It's possible that it has been a struggle at times but the most important thing is that people are enjoying my style of play, that's something that makes me proud and extremely happy," Benzema added.

Benzema was an effective foil to Ronaldo as he went on to become Madrid's all-time record scorer, but the plaudits mainly went to the Portuguese, who departed for Juventus in 2018.

Last season, Benzema's 23 league goals came at a rate of one every 126.13 minutes, which he has only beaten twice in a full season at Madrid. They also came from an expected goals total of 18.81, indicating he is excelling in taking the chances that come his way.

His shot conversion rate so far in 2021-22 is 26.47 per cent, higher than he has achieved across any full LaLiga campaign since arriving in 2009 from Lyon.

He described his Madrid role as that of "a big brother figure", helping along the likes of Vinicius Jr.

It remains to be seen whether Benzema is joined at Madrid by his France team-mate Kylian Mbappe, who was targeted by Los Blancos during the last transfer window.

Mbappe is in the final year of his Paris Saint-Germain contract and could move to Madrid for free next year. Benzema has said it is "a question of time", convinced Mbappe will at some stage in his career pull on the famous white shirt.

Speaking about the 22-year-old striker, who he has played alongside for France, Benzema said: "Mbappe is an amazing talent with his brand of football and more so taking into consideration his age. He's also a really great guy and I love playing alongside him."

Lionel Messi has revealed that Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe speaks "perfect Spanish" as he explains how his Spanish-speaking Paris Saint-Germain team-mates have aided his transition to France.

Barcelona's financial situation forced Messi to move away from Catalonia and the 34-year-old is still adjusting to life away from Camp Nou, scoring just once in his five appearances for PSG across all competitions so far.

However, despite admitting that he found leaving the club he spent 21 years at difficult, while also acknowledging he feels "a little bit lost" in Paris, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner says that having players who speak the same language as him in the dressing room has helped.

"I knew I was coming to a new country and had to start from scratch," Messi said in an interview with France Football. "Knowing that I had friends in the dressing room made me think that things would be easier to adapt to.

"And I was not wrong, because it was very easy to settle, especially because there are many players who speak Spanish, like me, and some friends like 'Ney' [Neymar], 'Lea' [Leandro Paredes], 'Fideo' [Angel Di Maria], who helped me when I arrived."

 

France star Mbappe – who has revealed he instructed PSG in July that he would not sign a new deal – was also mentioned, with Messi praising his command of the Spanish language.

"With a player like [Mbappe], it's easy to get along. Also, Kylian speaks perfect Spanish, so we have good exchanges off the pitch as well," continued Messi.

"It makes things easier. Now, I've only been here a short time, so it's still a bit early to draw conclusions. But I'm sure it will work out well."

PSG ultimately turned down three bids for Mbappe, with the last offer said to be worth up to €200million for a player whose deal runs out at the end of the season.

Expectations are high for the attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, with Messi and Neymar previously forming two-thirds of the fearsome 'MSN' trident at Barcelona alongside Luis Suarez that scored a staggering 364 goals in 450 combined appearances.

So far, however, Messi and Neymar have contributed just one goal apiece, with Mbappe netting four and assisting a further five across all competitions.

Karim Benzema has revealed he asked Kylian Mbappe to take France's penalty against Belgium in Thursday's Nations League semi-final so his team-mate could banish the memories of missing from the spot at Euro 2020.

Mbappe missed the crucial kick in France's shoot-out defeat to Switzerland in June's Euro 2020 last-16 tie as Les Blues suffered a shock early exit from a tournament they were deemed favourites to win.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward made no mistake from 12 yards against Belgium, though, thumping the ball into the top-right corner to level things up before Theo Hernandez's late winner set up a showdown with Spain in Sunday's final.

Benzema started France's comeback from two goals down and the Real Madrid striker was more than happy to let Mbappe take the penalty at the Allianz Stadium.

"We are both players who take penalties," he told M6. "I wanted him to take this one so I gave him the ball. I really wanted him to score. 

"After what happened at the Euros, it's been erased. On the pitch I try to make my team-mates better every time I play."

Benzema was named on the 30-man shortlist for the 2021 Ballon d'Or award on Friday after an impressive year that saw him impress for Madrid and make a surprise international comeback with France.

And fellow France forward Antoine Griezmann hailed his team-mate for the form he has shown for club and country.

"He gets the ball and puts it in the net," Griezmann told M6. "I tell him, 'when you play like that, you're just too strong for others'.

"It's awesome to watch him play, to see Karim at this level. I hope he can continue this way for Sunday's final."

Didier Deschamps said he never doubted Kylian Mbappe after his return to form in France's last-gasp win over Belgium in the Nations League semi-finals.

Mbappe scored a penalty as France completed a stunning Nations League comeback in Turin on Thursday, overturning a 2-0 deficit in a 3-2 triumph en route to the final thanks to Theo Hernandez's 90th-minute strike.

All eyes were on Mbappe after revealing he considered taking a break from international football following France's Euro 2020 disappointment.

Mbappe missed the decisive penalty as France sensationally crashed out of Euro 2020 at the hands of Switzerland in the round of 16 but the Paris Saint-Germain star assisted Karim Benzema's goal before equalising with his 69th-minute spot-kick.

Afterwards, France head coach Deschamps hailed Mbappe, who became the youngest player to reach 50 games for Les Bleus (22 years and 291 days), overtaking Benzema (24 years and 240 days).

"Kylian [Mbappe] didn't have any doubts," Deschamps told reporters. "I have always been behind him, I saw his determination. He was full of good intentions during the Euros, he missed the efficiency in the end, but he was injured, he couldn't play the second and third game.

"There are a lot of expectations with Kylian. I've always said this, and it's not to be nice, I know very well France is a lot stronger with Kylian. Today he did it.

"Offensively, in his efforts, the way he is complementary with Benzema and [Antoine] Griezmann has added to that. It's good for France. But I never had any doubts about him.

"It will have been good for him, definitely, on a personal level, but since he arrived at the start of this week, I could sense that he felt that it was an important match for him as well, and all for the better for him and for us."

Hernandez's thunderous long-range winner meant world champions France claimed their first victory after trailing by two or more goals at half-time since May 2012 against Iceland in an international friendly.

Belgium had led 2-0 at the interval thanks to Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku but France will now meet Spain in Sunday's Nations League showpiece.

"It's the kind of football that we like when we end up on the right side of it," Deschamps said. "It's amazing to go from one emotion into another in a big game like that, against an opponent like that. We were on the wrong side of it this summer, and it hurts.

"It's hard, I put myself in Roberto Martinez's shoes when it comes to the final scoreline, it hurts. But you have to accept it. Much joy and pride, I'm here for that. I've known many great moments, and we're going to have more. Because the quality we have in this side, the spirit, the mentality even if we had to react to the situation. But to be able to turn around a situation like that, I can only be proud of what we've done tonight."

Lilian Thuram has declared Paris Saint-Germain cannot rely on their superstar strike force to deliver trophies – and he wishes he had the chance to face them down.

France great Thuram recognises Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe bring individual brilliance to PSG, who are tearing away at the top of Ligue 1 despite a shock weekend defeat at Rennes.

In a reputational sense, the French giants possess the most fearsome front three in world football, with Messi arriving from Barcelona in August to complement an already mighty attack, with Mauro Icardi also hoping to make an impact.

That makes them strong contenders for the Champions League, in theory, and a European triumph is the target that PSG have been striving for since Qatar Sports Investments came on board in 2011, changing the outlook of the club.

Mauricio Pochettino has seen his side capture four points from their opening two group games this season, including a statement win over Manchester City.

"The PSG squad is made of many excellent players, especially forwards. If you boast Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, it is really unbelievable," Thuram said on Thursday.

Handling that front trio, once they click together, will be a daunting prospect, but it was by taking on such opposition during his playing days that Thuram established himself as one of the world's most formidable defenders.

Whether at right-back or in the centre, Thuram was a titan for Monaco, Parma and Juventus, before seeing out his career at Barcelona, where a young Messi was making his name.

"Truthfully, if I were a centre-back now, I would love to face them," Thuram said, speaking at the Festival dello Sport.

 

Thuram, now 49, suspects he and former Juventus colleagues Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon might have drawn the best out of PSG's 'MNM' trio.

"If Fabio and Gigi, who still plays, were young, they would have put on a show against them, it would be so difficult to stop them. But it doesn't mean you win at the end," Thuram said.

"If you have Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo – well no, with Cristiano you win a lot – but with Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, no victory is granted.

"You need the entire team and this is what football is about. Teams win."

Mbappe has not scored in his past four Ligue 1 games, his longest drought in the French top-flight since March to May 2018 when he failed to net in six successive matches.

He hit four goals early in the campaign and has three assists, so leads their league scoring charts, but Messi and Neymar are not next on the list. Instead, second place is shared by Achraf Hakimi and Ander Herrera, both of whom have managed three goals and two assists in nine games.

With such contributions coming from defence and midfield, that may be an early indication of PSG delivering the team-wide performance this season that brings success.

Neymar, however, has just one goal from five Ligue 1 appearances in 2021-22, while Messi has yet to score or have an assist in the league in 190 minutes of action.

Including the final months of last season, Brazilian Neymar has netted just two goals from his past 41 shots attempted in open play in Ligue 1 – with only 10 of those attempts hitting the target.

Kylian Mbappe is still in talks with Paris Saint-Germain over a contract extension, according to the Real Madrid target's mother Fayza Lamari.

France international Mbappe revealed earlier this week he asked to leave PSG in July after deciding he did not want to extend his stay at the Parc des Princes.

The 22-year-old is due to become a free agent at the end of the 2021-22 campaign and can sign a pre-contract agreement with a new club from January 1.

However, Mbappe's mother has suggested there is still a chance the superstar forward could remain a PSG player beyond next year.

"We are talking right now with PSG and all is well," Lamari told Le Parisien.

"I spoke last night with [PSG sporting director] Leonardo. Will we reach a solution? One thing is clear. He is going to give everything until the end to win the Champions League."

Mbappe's revelation this week that he wanted out of PSG in the close season sparked fresh speculation over a possible mid-season switch to Madrid.

The Spanish side are reported to have had three bids turned down for the former Monaco man in July and August, the last one said to be worth up to €200million.

Speaking shortly after Mbappe's interview was published, Madrid president Florentino Perez said he was hopeful his future will be resolved in January.

PSG director Leonardo accused Madrid of lacking respect, but the decision over where Mbappe will ply his trade next season will ultimately come down to the player.

"Kylian needs to be happy," said Lamari, who handles her son's business interests. "If he is sad, he is capable of saying 'I give it up'. And he says that often! 

"With Kylian, everything can change from one day to the next."

 

Mbappe has scored 136 goals in 182 games for PSG since joining from Ligue 1 rivals Monaco in August 2017 on an initial loan deal, which was made permanent the following year.

That tally is bettered only by Cristiano Ronaldo (149), now team-mate Lionel Messi (163) and Robert Lewandowski (191) across that period among players from Europe's top five leagues in all competitions.

Mbappe's 61 assists over the same timeframe is the sixth-highest total, meanwhile, with Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller leading the way with 75.

The 22-year-old has made a largely underwhelming start to the 2021-22 campaign, however, having scored only four goals in 11 appearances, though he does have five assists.

That includes a run of 17 shots without scoring in Ligue 1 since netting against Clermont Foot on September 11.

Raphael Varane said France are united in the good and bad moments after star team-mate Kylian Mbappe revealed he considered taking a break from international football following Les Bleus' Euro 2020 disappointment.

Mbappe missed the decisive penalty as France sensationally crashed out of Euro 2020 at the hands of Switzerland in the round of 16.

The 22-year-old, who was embroiled in a pre-tournament public war of words with fellow forward Olivier Giroud, ended the European Championships without a goal amid links with Real Madrid.

Following reports of Mbappe being a disruptive figure within the France team, the Paris Saint-Germain sensation felt a lack of support in the aftermath of the country's Euro 2020 exit.

As France prepare for Thursday's Nations League semi-final against Belgium, Varane was asked about Mbappe's comments.

"I think that in the group, it's quite clear and it was immediately clear after the match, that we are together," France and Manchester United defender Varane told reporters.

"When things go well and when they don't go well, we take responsibility together and we don't leave anyone out.

"That's the state of mind of this group and that's our mentality. Our philosophy. We're not going to change that."

Talk of Mbappe moving to LaLiga giants Madrid has intensified after the Frenchman revealed he told PSG of his intention to leave the capital club at the start of the season.

Mbappe, who is out of contract at the end of 2021-22, has made no secret of his desire to join Madrid, where countryman Karim Benzema, head coach Carlo Ancelotti and Los Blancos president Florentino Perez have spoken openly about the PSG target.

Varane, who left Madrid for Premier League powerhouse United before the transfer window closed, added: "For Kylian, it's simply his future, he's the one who decides, he's the one who has the maturity to choose with his family.

"Whether he stays or goes, he knows. I think he is down to earth and he knows clearly what he wants. I think it's not my role to advise him or to make a decision for him. He knows very well on his own."

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo hit out at Real Madrid for their "lack of respect" for the Ligue 1 giants and Kylian Mbappe amid their public pursuit of the French star.

After soon-to-be free agent Mbappe confirmed this week that he had asked to leave PSG before the start of the season, Madrid president Florentino Perez seemed to suggest the France international could join the LaLiga powerhouse in January.

While Perez claimed he was misinterpreted, Madrid star Karim Benzema said a move to the Santiago Bernabeu is a "question of time" as Los Blancos head coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters he hoped Mbappe "enjoys himself" in the Spanish capital.

Leonardo has not taken kindly to Madrid's open desire to sign the 22-year-old.

"This is another example of the lack of respect for PSG and for Mbappe," Leonardo said in an interview with L'Equipe.

"In fact, in the same week a Real Madrid player [Karim Benzema], then the Real Madrid coach [Carlo Ancelotti].

"Now the president [Florentino Perez] talks about Kylian as if he was already one of their own. I repeat: this is a lack of respect that we cannot tolerate."

Mbappe has scored four goals and supplied three assists in nine Ligue 1 appearances this season, while he is yet to add to his tally in the Champions League through two matchdays.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has claimed he was misinterpreted after he seemed to suggest Kylian Mbappe could join the club in January. 

Mbappe, whose Paris Saint-Germain contract expires at the end of the season, will be free to negotiate with clubs from the turn of the year if the 22-year-old has not agreed a new deal in the French capital.

It would seem Mbappe has no intention of doing so, with the forward having confirmed this week that he asked to leave PSG in July, while explaining that there has been no further negotiations.

Los Blancos are reported to have made three bids for the France international during the last transfer window, the last one said to be worth around €200million.

However, Perez said on El Debate that Madrid remain confident of signing Mbappe, who claimed to be happy at PSG for the time being despite the speculation.

"In January we will have news from Mbappe," Perez said on Tuesday. "We hope that on January 1 everything can be solved."

But Perez quickly backtracked, saying: "My words were misinterpreted.

"What I said is that we have to wait until next year to find out, always with respect to PSG with whom we have good relations."

Madrid were granted a salary cap boost of €270m, leaving them with a spending limit seven times greater than financially stricken Barcelona and Perez also found time to provide an update on the club's financial situation post-pandemic.

"It will probably take about three years for us to return to the figures we entered before the pandemic," he continued.

"We have gone from entering €900m to just over €600m."

Kylian Mbappe revealed he considered taking a break from playing for France after their disappointment at Euro 2020.

Mbappe endured a frustrating campaign at the European Championship, culminating in him missing the decisive spot-kick against Switzerland as Les Bleus succumbed to a shock last-16 exit.

The 22-year-old left the major tournament without a goal to his name, despite attempting 14 shots across 390 minutes of action, before returning to Paris Saint-Germain, where reports swirled of a potential move to Real Madrid.

The France international was also embroiled in a pre-tournament public war of words with fellow striker Olivier Giroud, who claimed members of Didier Deschamps' side were not passing to him before their opener against Germany.

With the poor performances and the early exit for the 2018 World Cup winners, reports emerged that Mbappe was a disruptive figure within the France setup, leading to the superstar contemplating a hiatus from the national team.

"I have always placed the French national team above everything and I will always put it above everything," Mbappe told French outlet L’Equipe ahead of the Nations League semi-final against Belgium.

"I have never taken a single Euro to play for the French national team and I will always play for my national team for free. 

"Above all, I never wanted to be a problem. But from the moment where I felt like that I was starting to become a problem and that people felt I was a problem - the most important thing is the French national team.

"And if the French national team is happier without me... that is what I was made to feel and that is what I felt.

"I received the message, that my ego was what made us lose, that I wanted to take up too much space, and that without me, therefore, we might have won. 

"I met with the [FFF] president, [Noel] Le Graet, and we had exchanges."

 

Deschamps' world champions seemingly had their Euro 2020 quarter-final berth in their grasp, leading 3-1 with just over 10 minutes remaining.

However, two late goals for Switzerland marked a remarkable comeback, which peaked when Yann Sommer guessed the right way against Mbappe in the shoot-out.

Along with the failure from 12 yards, Mbappe did not muster a shot on target despite firing in six attempts against Vladimir Petkovic's side but the barrage of abuse, including racist comments, is what left the former Monaco forward considering his future.

"I have so much love for the French national team that I abstract from it all," he continued. "What shocked me, again, was being called a monkey for the penalty.

"That is what I wanted support around, not because I took my penalty to the left and Sommer stopped it: that is on me, that is my foot that did that.

"I was booed in all of the stadiums in France! Aside from that, there was not just that, there was also the transfer, but the reality is that I was booed in all the stadiums, yes.

"But I understand everything around the sporting world now: if you are not good, you accept what people say, there you go.

"You just have to look at yourself in the mirror: I was not as good as I should have been, I accept it, and I live with this failure because it will serve me well."

Kylian Mbappe revealed he would only leave Paris Saint-Germain for Real Madrid as the forward claimed there have been no new contract discussions for two months.

Mbappe, who joined from Monaco in 2017, has become unsettled at the Parc des Princes with less than a year left on his contract and Madrid attempted to secure his services last transfer window.

Los Blancos are reported to have made three bids for the France international, the last one said to be worth up to €200 million.

However, Madris's advances were turned down and with the arrival of Lionel Messi, Mauricio Pochettino and the PSG board were seemingly confident of keeping Mbappe for the final year of his deal.

RMC released part of an interview – which will be published in full on Tuesday – on Monday, in which Mbappe confirmed he had made his intentions to leave clear to PSG in July.

Speaking about his future to French outlet L'Equipe, the 22-year-old said he believed his time at PSG was drawing to a natural conclusion, though revealed he would only have left for Madrid.

"This summer my ambition was clear, I wanted to leave and put the club in the best circumstances to bring in my replacement," Mbappe said.

"Right now, my future is not my priority. I've already wasted a lot of energy this summer, it's draining.

"I thought that my adventure [with PSG] was over. I wanted to discover something else. I'd been in the French league six or seven years. I've given what I tried to at Paris and I think I've done it well. 

"To arrive at 18 post-youth development and do everything I have, I think that's something remarkable. Leaving was the logical next step. 

"I am attached to Paris, and if I had left this summer, it would have only been for Real."

Mbappe was also reported to have rejected a series of new contract offers, but he denied that was true as he remains content in Paris.

 

"I stayed and I'm really happy," he continued. 

"At no point during the season will you hear behaviour along the lines of 'you didn't let me leave, I'm going to take it easy.' I have too much love for football and too much respect for the club and for myself, to take it easy even for one game.

"With regard to my situation, we haven't been discussing a renewal for [over[ two months, since I said I wanted to leave.

"When I say that lots of things were heard, I'm talking about something else – people said that I turned down six or seven renewal offers, no way! 

"People were saying that I didn't want to talk to [sporting director] Leonardo, even though it's the president [Nasser Al-Khelaifi] who wanted to take things over. 

"When I'm told to speak with the president, I'm not going to say no. People were saying I was planning on messing around in the dressing room – again, not at all."

Kylian Mbappe has revealed he asked to leave Paris Saint-Germain in July amid interest from Real Madrid as he wanted the Ligue 1 side to receive a transfer fee.

The France international was repeatedly linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu during the most recent transfer window after entering the final year of his contract.

Madrid are reported to have had three bids turned down for the France international in July and August, the last one said to be worth up to €200million.

Speaking about his future in detail for the first time, Mbappe confirmed in an interview with RMC Sport, which will be released in full on Tuesday, that he does not intend to sign a new deal at the Parc des Princes.

"I asked to leave," he said. "From the moment where I did not want to extend, I wanted for the club to receive a transfer fee so that they could bring in a quality replacement. 

"This club has given me a lot. I have always been happy across the four years I have had here, and I still am. I said it early enough so that the club could react. 

"I wanted everyone to come out of this stronger, that we leave hand in hand, to make a good deal and I respected that. I said, if you don't want me to go, I will stay."

Mbappe was reported to have rejected multiple offers of a new deal in the French capital, but the superstar forward has denied that was the case.

 

"People said I turned down six or seven extension offers, that I don't want to talk to [sporting director] Leonardo anymore – that's absolutely not true," he said.

"It's not for me to judge, but my position was clear. I said that I wanted to leave and I said it quite early. 

"Me, personally, I did not appreciate too much the fact of 'yes, he's [saying he wants to leave] in the last week of August...' because I said at the end of July that I wanted to leave."

Since joining PSG from Ligue 1 rivals Monaco in August 2017 on an initial loan that was made permanent a year later, Mbappe has scored 136 goals in 182 games.

That is a tally bettered by only Cristiano Ronaldo (149), now team-mate Lionel Messi (163) and Robert Lewandowski (191) across that period among players from Europe's top five leagues in all competitions.

Mbappe's 61 assists over the same timeframe is the sixth-highest total, meanwhile, with Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller leading the way with 75.

The 22-year-old has made a largely underwhelming start to the 2021-22 campaign, however, having scored only four goals in 11 appearances, though he does have five assists.

That includes a run of 17 shots without scoring in Ligue 1 since netting against Clermont Foot on September 11.

Mauricio Pochettino was left "frustrated and disappointed" after Paris Saint-Germain failed to register a shot on target in Sunday's shock 2-0 loss to Rennes.

The Ligue 1 leaders' eight-game winning streak to begin their league campaign came to an end at Roazhon Park as goals from Gaetan Laborde and Flavien Tait proved decisive.

PSG registered 13 shots but failed to test opposition goalkeeper Alfred Gomis from any of those, with Kylian Mbappe having a second-half strike ruled out by VAR for offside.

Mbappe had earlier scuffed a shot over the crossbar with only Gomis to beat, while Neymar was way off target with a volleyed attempt six yards out with the scores still level.

Pochettino also started with fellow superstar forward Lionel Messi, who had a game-high five shots, the most notable of which saw him hit the crossbar from a free-kick.

Angel Di Maria was brought into the side in place of Ander Herrera from Tuesday's 2-0 win over Manchester City, but Pochettino has no regrets over his attack-minded selection.

"I don't think we can look at our system. We played 25 of our best minutes of the season [in the first half]," Pochettino said at his post-match news conference.

"We didn't start the game well, but we then had 25 or 30 minutes of good quality football. It was a shame not to capitalise.

"We then had two psychological blows, conceding just before and just after half-time. The match was then open. We created chances but had a hard time.

"Rennes grew in confidence and we started to become frustrated."

 

The defeat was Messi's first since joining PSG from Barcelona in August, the Argentina international still without a goal in three Ligue 1 matches.

Mbappe, meanwhile, has now had 17 shots since last finding the net in Ligue 1.

While Messi, Mbappe and Di Maria played the full 90 minutes, Neymar was withdrawn 14 minutes from time after managing just that one wayward attempt in the first half.

Rather than point the finger at individuals, however, Pochettino accepted the blame for his side's first league loss since early April, a run of 15 matches.

"When we won against Man City, it was down to a collective effort," he said. "The first person in charge is me. What we did for 25 minutes was of very high quality.

"We must extend that to 90 minutes. I am satisfied with one sector – we created a lot of situations and opportunities."

PSG's 13 attempts without registering a shot on target is their highest in a Ligue 1 match since Opta started collecting such data in 2006-07.

Rather than put the rare setback down to fatigue on the back of a tough European match with Man City five days ago, Pochettino accepts a lack of cutting edge was to blame.

Asked if he was feeling angry, Pochettino said: "Yes, a bit. Nobody likes to lose games. We can't underestimate what Rennes did, but we are frustrated and disappointed.

"We had chances to score and then conceded a couple of goals. Situations like this leave us bitter and disappointed.

"But it's not to do with playing in midweek. We've had five days since then. I repeat, we played 30 minutes of good football today. 

"We had control of the game and conceded when on top. We were immediately 2-0 down in the second half and then it's a different game."

Carlo Ancelotti said he hoped Kylian Mbappe "enjoys himself" at Real Madrid after Karim Benzema predicted the Paris Saint-Germain star would move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

In an interview with L'Equipe, Benzema claimed it was a matter of time until his international team-mate signs for Los Blancos.

Madrid reportedly saw three bids rejected by PSG for the France star during the transfer window, the last one said to be worth €200million.

Yet with Mbappe's contract expiring at the end of the season and no sign of an extension, the 22-year-old will be free to speak with foreign clubs over a possible free transfer from January onwards.

When asked about Benzema's comments ahead of Madrid's LaLiga clash with Espanyol, Ancelotti replied: "I hope Mbappe enjoys himself because Madrid are the biggest club in the world!"

Madrid's trip to Barcelona comes in the week when they were stunned by Champions League debutants Sheriff 2-1 at home.

Having won five matches in a row, Madrid are now without a victory in their previous two, having been held 0-0 at home by Villarreal in their most recent league match.

Ancelotti has been losing sleep over those recent results but is not concerned by recent criticism of his side or his methods.

 

"The game against Sheriff hurt our pride. We'll react and give everything tomorrow, as we did against Sheriff," Ancelotti said.

"It's true we committed small mistakes, weren't precise enough in finishing, in passing, in their few chances.

"It affected me physically because I don't sleep, and I think about what happened. When you don't win, you don't sleep.

"I accept it [criticism], whether it's fair or unfair, you have to accept it. It's normal. I have a fantastic position, and I'm lucky to be here, and you have to accept that they can criticise you.

"We need to have more balance and really assess what's happening to us. We have struggled for goals in our last two games and we need to address that in our next game. I don't think that it’s a case of this being a tough time, but it is certainly tougher than it was before, but we have to solve it by playing with balance and energy."

This weekend also sees a clash between champions Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, a game Ancelotti plans to watch as he expects both to be their main title rivals this term.

"We're going to fight with those two until the end. Atleti are maybe better coming into it," he said.

"I'm going to watch because they're two big teams, but if we do what we need to do, we're going to fight for titles."

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