September 25, 2021

Mbappe will have to accept it if Messi scores more than him – Pauleta

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A former frontman for the Ligue 1 giants believes a World Cup winner may see his end product dip a little with an Argentine icon around

Kylian Mbappe has been warned that he may have to “accept” scoring fewer goals now that Lionel Messi has joined the ranks at Paris Saint-Germain, with end product being spread a little finer at Parc des Princes.

Despite already have a World Cup-winning France international and Brazilian superstar Neymar on their books, Ligue 1 giants have added another world-class forward to their attacking talent pool this summer.

Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi is looking to further enhance his reputation after leaving Barcelona for France, with the 34-year-old expected to prove as prolific in new surroundings as he did at Camp Nou – with some spotlight being stolen from those around him.

What has been said?

PSG legend Pauleta, who hit 109 goals for the club in his playing days, has told Ligue 1’s official website of Mbappe seeing Messi drafted in alongside him: “He will have to adapt.

“But he will grow a lot with Lionel Messi at Paris Saint-Germain. If he has the intelligence to move well, taking advantage of the spaces created by Messi and Neymar, he will often find himself in a good situation thanks to their quality of passing and he will therefore be able to score many goals. 

“The fact that he can play either on the side or in the middle will be an asset. That said, there is always a risk that one of the three will score less. If that’s the case for Kylian, he’ll have to accept it.”

Has Mbappe been a success at PSG?

Mbappe was signed by PSG in the same summer window that saw Neymar make a record-breaking €222 million (£200m/$262m) move from Barcelona.

The now 22-year-old forward has hit 135 goals through 175 appearances, but he is into the final year of his contract and continues to be heavily linked with La Liga giants Real Madrid.

Neymar has also delivered a productive return in front of goal, finding the target on 87 occasions through 117 outings, but European glory has remained elusive for an ambitious side that has invested heavily in pursuit of that ultimate target.

Pauleta added: “If Paris Saint-Germain had won a Champions League since Neymar and Kylian’s arrival, everyone would say they’re a perfect duo. But because they didn’t win it, it makes sense that there is criticism.

“But I think they get along well. They are two players with a lot of qualities who like to have the ball even though they have different styles. They are complementary. I hope they will succeed in forming a formidable trio with Lionel Messi.”

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