As tension mounts Luis Enrique and Kylian Mbappé must show unity to defeat Barcelona

Luis Enrique and Kylian Mbappé (25) have appeared to be rarely on the same wavelength in the months that have followed since Paris Saint-Germain’s top scorer announced to the club his intention to leave at the end of the season. 

Luis Enrique has taken to a strange method of preparing for a future without Mbappé rather than utilising the unique talents of arguably the world’s best player while he remains at the club. This has seen Luis Enrique start games without Mbappé and also substitute him early in matches. 

It’s been an approach that has hinted at behind-the-scenes tension with reports coming from Mbappé’s entourage suggesting that the played has been hurt and embarrassed by his manager’s decision-making. Perhaps the most telling of these moments came last month in what looks to be the player’s final ever Le Classique. 

Mbappé was visibly frustrated when he saw that he was being substituted, with reports coming out that he had sworn at Luis Enrique as he left the pitch. Despite this, Le Parisien, suggests that the two men have a good relationship. 

‘Never detected any sign of disenchantment’ between Kylian Mbappé and Luis Enrique

A source close to the PSG dressing room tells the paper that they have “never detected any sign of disenchantment” and that “they understand each other in their mode of operation.” There have been signs of unity in recent weeks, with the two sharing a celebration as they watched Ethan Mbappé (17) score with the under-19s, and during halftime, the two were seen chatting quietly amongst themselves.  

It’s been said that Mbappé appreciates his manager despite the recent circumstances and respects that the Spaniard stood by him during his early season confrontation with the club that saw him shunted aside into a group colloquially named the undesirables. 

Tonight, with the most important game of the club’s season on the line, it would be prescient to show some of that unity as they attempt to overcome a 3-2 deficit to defeat Barcelona and progress to the Champions League semi-final. 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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