Mbappe seeks to maintain that winning feeling
Kylian Mbappe wants to sweep the winning feeling France generated at the World Cup into Paris St Germain’s quest for an eighth Ligue 1 crown.
The French champions launch their title defence against Caen at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
Neymar is set to return after missing the final three months of last season with a foot problem before recovering in time to lead Brazil in Russia.
Mbappe’s performances at the World Cup overshadowed those of his PSG team-mate’s and the 19-year-old forward was named the competition’s best young player after producing four goals.
“It was a really incredible feeling. We did it!” Mbappe told PSG TV.
“At the start, you just want to enjoy the experience, but the further you go, you start thinking about winning it. It’s the World Cup, something unique.
“You realise pretty quickly that you have to make sacrifices to win something so special. And I have no problem making sacrifices to win.
“But now we’re back in Paris with new objectives, even if we always want to win. In Russia it was with the national team and now I’m back with my club side – but we still have to keep on winning.”
PSG have had a quiet summer in the transfer market with Gianluigi Buffon their only new signing and the veteran Italy goalkeeper is backing Mbappe to become one of the greats of the game.
“Kylian has something more than the others,” Buffon told PSG’s official club magazine.
“I hope that he will remain humble and maintain his desire to progress and make sacrifices. If Kylian does that, then he will leave his mark on football history and write some incredible pages in sporting history.
“If he can stay grounded and focused on his objectives he can become as great as Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.”
Thomas Tuchel signed a two-year deal to replace new Arsenal boss Unai Emery as PSG manager and will be making his competitive debut for the club against Caen.
The Normandy side secured their top flight status on the final day of last season by getting an unlikely draw with the champions.
However, Caen have also changed managers since then, replacing Patrice Garande with the inexperienced Fabien Mercadal.