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Kylian Mbappe: Lizarazu sticks up for departing PSG star

Kylian Mbappe

Bixente Lizarazu is not surprised Kylian Mbappe’s performances have dipped in recent weeks given the “drama” around his Paris Saint-Germain exit.

Mbappe last night confirmed he would be leaving the Parc des Princes at the end of the season, and is widely expected to join Real Madrid.

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The France captain has seen his playing time cut in recent weeks with coach Luis Enrique already preparing for life without his star striker.

Mbappe looked rusty during PSG’s Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night, prompting fierce criticism and accusations he was lacking motivation.

Former France left-back Lizarazu leapt to his defence, though, telling L’Equipe: “He’s not a machine or a robot! In a way, that’s rather reassuring. He remains a human being who, in order to perform, needs to feel loved, considered and to feel a positive atmosphere around him.

“It’s surprising that he wasn’t affected even earlier. He was able to achieve great performances, with two doubles at Real Sociedad and Barcelona.

“But it was inevitable that he would get caught up in all the drama and not be able to play at his best. It was too confrontational. The body works best when the mind is well.”

What did Mbappe say?

Mbappe outlined his intention to move on at the end of the season in a video on social media.

He said: “It’s a lot of emotions, many years where I had the chance and the great honour to be a member of the biggest French club, one of the best in the world.

“It allowed me to arrive here, to have my first experience in a club with a lot of pressure, to grow as a player of course, by being alongside some of the best in history, some of the greatest champions.

“It’s hard and I never thought it would be this difficult to announce that. But I think I needed this, a new challenge, after seven years.”

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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