Paris Saint-Germain head coach Christophe Galtier has praised Kylian Mbappe’s maturity for his words after Tuesday’s 1-0 UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg loss to Bayern Munich. The French superstar urged his teammates to “eat well and sleep well” over the next few weeks ahead of the return leg in Germany and much has been made of Neymar’s behavior since Tuesday.
The Brazil international participated in a late night poker tournament the day after the Bayern loss and was also pictured eating at a McDonald’s which did not impress Galtier. The French tactician spoke on Friday ahead of Sunday’s early clash with Lille OSC in Ligue 1 and admitted that he has spoken with Neymar.
“What Kylian said in the mixed zone post-game is exactly what he said in the locker room,” said Galtier. “They were words of great maturity to make sure that everybody stays mobilized. They were welcome. I will not associate Kylian’s words with the picture of Neymar in a fast food chain. I spoke with Neymar and I told him what I thought. He has the right to play poker on his day off — he loves it. I told him what I thought of the photo which came out, though. That is absolutely clear.”
Galtier also admitted that discussions with sporting advisor Luis Campos and chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi have taken place since the defeat. The Ligue 1 title winner with LOSC also recognized that he has spoken with individual players after he was disappointed by their collective showing against the German champions in midweek.
“I spoke briefly after the game with Kylian,” said Galtier. “I spoke with Luis Campos and the president on the phone yesterday and a few players individually this morning.
“Are you making fun of me? Of course, I was not satisfied with the Bayern result. I chose my XI based on the available players. I wanted a first phase building up to Kylian coming on. If you think that I enjoyed watching my team’s performance against Bayern, then you are disrespecting me. PSG must play attacking, attractive, and effective soccer to win.”
Achraf Hakimi and Marquinhos are now expected to miss the visit of Lille to Parc des Princes this weekend through injury. Galtier also hinted that Mbappe could feature again as he returns to full fitness after his recent thigh injury: “We have to win this weekend and we are more likely to do that with Kylian than without him.”
PSG have a challenge on their hands to save their season after recently exiting the Coupe de France at the hands of bitter rivals Olympique de Marseille. They now have a 1-0 deficit to overturn against Bayern and their eight-point lead at the top of Le Championnat has been cut to just five ahead oif a tricky end to the month against Lille and then OM.