Kylian Mbappe substitution in Monaco not injury-related according to Luis Enrique: 'The decision is mine'


Kylian Mbappe was substituted at halftime of Paris Saint-Germain’s 0-0 draw away at AS Monaco in Ligue 1 on Friday and watched the remainder of the game with his mother in the Stade Louis II stands instead of from the bench with his teammates.

The France international is expected to join Real Madrid this summer when his contract with the French champions expires but neither of the two clubs nor the player has confirmed his move to the Spanish capital officially.

PSG head coach Luis Enrique withdrew Mbappe for Randal Kolo Muani in the Principality and was then seen changing into his tracksuit and speaking over the phone before joining his family in the crowd instead of on the sidelines with the substitutes.

“I am not surprised,” said the Spanish tactician of the controversy after the game. “I have been in professional soccer for quite some time and I know that everything matters at a club of this kind. Sooner or later, we will have to play without Kylian.

“I am trying to find the best option for the team. Sometimes I do that well, other times less well. It was related to what was happening on the field. Sooner or later, he will not play for us anymore. We must get used to that. I have my decisions to make all of the time.

“That is my philosophy and my way of thinking in terms of what is best for my team. This is what I will continue to do and what. consider to be best for the team. It is my philosophy to put the collective first. I will not argue — the decision is mine.”

Asked later on whether he saw Mbappe making his way to his family in the stands instead of joining his teammates, Luis Enrique responded: “I did not see what was going on off the field. It is part of the soccer show, but my sole concern is what goes on in and around the field of play.”

Following last week’s 1-1 draw with Stade Rennais, the former Spain and Barcelona boss stated that his team needs to “get used to playing without Kylian” after substituting Mbappe at 1-0 down before Goncalo Ramos’ late equalizer.

Although Mbappe did take a minor hit in the Monaco stalemate, it was not enough to force the change and his withdrawal was tactical with a UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg away at Real Sociedad to come next Tuesday with a 2-0 aggregate lead.

Friday’s result against Les Monegasques means that PSG go a provisional 12 points clear at the Ligue 1 summit although the blank ended a 26-game run of scoring at least one goal and continued Folarin Balogun and his team’s wait for a home win in 2024.





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