LISBON – Forward Kylian Mbappe is on a mission to give Paris Saint-Germain their first Champions League title against Bayern Munich which would make the club join the continent’s elite.
“Tomorrow is an opportunity for us to join that elite group to win the Champions League. We know our quality and what a big club we are and how we have grown over the years,” the 21-year-old World Cup winner told a virtual news conference on the eve of Sunday’s final.
“That’s why I joined the club. I wanted to write history for French football. I have another opportunity to do that tomorrow. It would be incredible if we win, that’s my mission.”
Mbappe and Neymar form a formidable attacking strike force with Angel di Maria in their first final, with Europe’s top title the main priority for the ambitious club since it came under Qatari ownership in 2011.
More than 1 billion dollars have been invested into the project to make PSG the second French club to lift the trophy, following Olympique Marseille in 1993.
Mbappe and their German coach Thomas Tuchel expressed huge respect for Hansi Flick’s Munich team which has scored a leading 42 goals in the competition and is unbeaten in 29 matches of which they have won 28.
“I always dreamed of coming up against the best players if you want to be among the best players. Lets see what happens but we want to come up with the trophy,” Mbappe said.
Added Tuchel: “They are having a unique run under Hansi Flick. They have a good mix of hungry players from a new generation as well as experienced players. It is the highest level in Europe right now.”
The coach said that he would not change PSG’s gameplan against high pressing Munich because “a final is not a place for a complete overhaul.
“We have to look at the small margins when it comes to the opposition. You have to exploit the space. It will be difficult. They have lots of individual ability and play with high tempo but there are always solutions,” Tuchel said.
He admitted that Munich as an 11-time finalist and five-winner had more experience but named this “a small edge rather than a big disadvantage” for PSG.
Tuchel said that Marco Verratti was fit to play again but goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who won the title three times with Real Madrid in the past, remains doubtful after already missing the semi-final, with Sergio Rico taking his place.
“Keylor will see if he can train and then it is a yes or no decision,” Tuchel said.