Kylian Mbappe has dismissed claims of a rift between himself and Neymar, affirming that both stars are happy to share the limelight at Paris Saint-Germain.
“When I arrived in Paris, this was not even a debate. Neymar was the superstar,” the young France forward explained to France Football.
“He got injured and missed [his chance to be at his best for] the World Cup and I won the World Cup. And then stories began to come out about our rivalry, about my willingness to take his place.
“In my first training session with PSG I said to him: ‘Don’t worry, I won’t be stepping on your toes here. I’m going to fight for the Ballon d’Or this year because you’re not in the race, but I assure you that I don’t want to take your place, you can keep it. I’m always here to help you’.”
At just 21 Mbappe has achieved what has so far proved beyond the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar himself and triumphed at the World Cup.
In 2020, France will have the chance to add Olympic Games gold to that world title, and their star striker will still be eligible for the tournament due to his status as an Under-23 player.
His chances of playing in Tokyo, however, look slim.
The Games kick off on July 24, less than two weeks after Euro 2020 comes to a close; and with another hectic club season on the horizon, Mbappe admits he will have to accept PSG’s decision.
“I don’t control everything. Of course I want to go to the Olympic Games, but if my club, which is my employer, doesn’t want to let me go, I will not try to argue,” he added.
“We will talk to Leonardo about this soon.”