Kylian Mbappe and his Paris Saint-Germain teammates received their first taste of St James’ Park as they prepared to face Newcastle United. Kylian Mbappe once remarked, ‘it’s not too hot in Newcastle,’ and he was proven correct as he stepped out at St James’ Park for the first time on Tuesday evening. The Frenchman, undeniably the star of this week’s Champions League clash, ran out for a late-night training session on Tyneside on what would normally be considered a rather mild evening in the region.
Mbappe, on the other hand, was left begging a PSG member of staff for a pair of gloves only seconds after rushing out onto the sacred ground. The striker and his teammates then participated in a warm-up ‘rondo’ before Luis Enrique put his team through their paces with something a little more challenging.
The Spaniard has a large, talented squad at his disposal, but based on Mbappe’s reaction to the weather in the north east of England, Newcastle may have an advantage coming into Wednesday’s highly anticipated clash.
Mbappe’s inclusion was called into question less than two weeks ago when he limped out of PSG’s 4-0 win over Marseille. However, when questioned about his star guy on Tuesday, Enrique was unequivocal.
The PSG president was being questioned in French, responding in Spanish, having his comments translated to French, and then being read out in English. When asked if Mbappe was fully fit to play, Enrique replied, “Si, oui, yes.”
That means the 24-year-old will likely face Newcastle full-back Kieran Trippier, who was asked six questions about the World Cup champion during a press conference on Tuesday.
“This is football, these are the levels you want to play at, playing in the Champions League against the best players and the best teams, but you know Paris St-Germain have got unbelievable players in the team,” Trippier responded when questioned about Mbappe.
“Of course, we have to acknowledge that Mbappe is one of the best players in the world, but they have quality all over the pitch.” We can’t be too focused on them; we have to play our own game because we can damage anyone on our day.”