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Luis Enrique confident for the post-Mbappé era at PSG: “We will have a much better team than this year’s”

Lucas Beraldo or Lucas Hernandez in the center: “Lucas Hernandez and Lucas Beraldo can play very well in this position.

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Luis Enrique confident for the post-Mbappé era at PSG: “We will have a much better team than this year’s”

Lucas Beraldo or Lucas Hernandez in the center: “Lucas Hernandez and Lucas Beraldo can play very well in this position. These are two players who give guarantees to play as central or full-back. As a coach, it's positive. It all depends on expectations regarding tomorrow's match (Friday in Monaco, where Marquinhos will be out, Editor's note), the positions in which we will have the ball. Lucas Hernandez has an easier time moving forward. Both can play in this role. Beraldo is very quiet, very young, they are two good options.

Motivation against Monaco: “We are not looking for excuses. We always try to express the importance of the championship. We will face Monaco, one of the best teams in Ligue 1 and a direct rival for the title. We know what difficulties await us. It's a wonderful match. We have a lot of challenges to prepare for against a very competitive team.”

Nuno Mendes: “If he can be lined up at the same time as Achraf Hakimi? Sure why not ? Good players can always play together. We adapt to the situation and the players at our disposal. Nuno Mendes is a very effective player in his position. We aim to bring the best players into play and generate synergy within the team. So far, Nuno has attacked a little less on the left side. Now we have more variety, more choice. We can play more forward, but both forward and backward in fact. It’s very interesting for us to have this option, for the entire staff and me, as coach.”

Kylian Mbappé and… post-Mbappé: “We talk about the present and future of the team every day (with Luis Campos). For the rest, in my work as a coach, I do with what I have at my disposal, all the players present. I don't prefer to talk until both parties have made something official, but the situation can indeed change and in the end, I always look for what's best for the team.

His memories of Mbappé 10 years ago, when he was starting out: “He was very young (smile). To be honest, I don't remember too much about Kylian in Monaco, I didn't really have the opportunity to see the Monaco of Kylian and (Radamel) Falcao. I know they were very successful. I don't even know if they won any titles (the French championship in 2017, Editor's note), but I know that they had a lot of good matches. For Kylian, he's a wonderful player, it's wonderful to be able to train him, the man Kylian Mbappé is even better than the player, that's what counts.

Absences in the central hinge (Marquinhos, Skriniar, Kimpembe): “I would like to have all the players available but that’s how it is for a football team. The important thing is to try to meet the challenges. Sometimes there are absences due to injury or suspension. My goal is to prepare all the players, those who play, those who play from time to time, little or not… The important thing for me is to prepare the team, no matter what players are available.

Xavi Simons, on loan to Leipzig: “He belongs to PSG, we follow his journey, like all the players who belong to PSG. But I prefer not to talk about a player who is not with us at the moment in order to respect the club to which he now belongs. But we are in contact and we obviously follow him.

His words on Mbappé after PSG-Rennes: “A message to the team or the leaders? For me, it's a spontaneous reflection after a match, it's a reality. Everyone is free to interpret it in a positive or negative way. I try to do what I think is best for the team. I understand the criticism or those who think I'm making the wrong decisions, but that's not important. What he is about is being calm and looking for the best solutions for the team, even if it is not always understood. The important thing is the present and the near future.” (Luis Enrique explained that “sooner or later, we will have to learn to play without Kylian Mbappé”, Editor’s note)

Rafael Leao (AC Milan), targeted by PSG according to some sources: “I don’t want to talk about a player who is not at the club. What I can say is that if everything goes well, and I am convinced of it, we will have a much better team than this year. I have no doubt about that. And this from all points of view, in defense, in front, physically, tactically…”

The evolution of PSG: “If we look at our trajectory since the start of the season, what we are doing in attack, I have talked about it throughout the season. We are in a situation where we can see the fruit of our efforts. I am happy with our results. The trajectory is good. Now we are entering a difficult period. The players have a lot of desire to win titles. We are entering a key period, the best period of the season, but it is also delicate. It's all or nothing ! It's a nice feeling. Now, we will see the results in the last three months of the season but so far, there are a lot more positives than negatives, that's clear. I always want to improve the team. There is always room for improvement. We must continue to be true to our ideas, dominate matches from the start. There is no need to change the general idea but to improve the details.”

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