THOMAS TUCHEL has piled praise on ‘shark’ Kylian Mbappe – saying he has the ability to compete with ‘the best’, such as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Chelsea boss worked with the 2018 World Cup winner, 22, during his time at Paris Saint-Germain.
Tuchel has praised Mbappe for his ‘shark’ mentality on the pitch, claiming it will help him compete with ‘the best’Credit: AP:Associated Press
Mbappe scored a hat-trick as PSG thumped Barcelona 4-1 at the Nou Camp last weekCredit: AP:Associated Press
Mbappe has been destined for greatness since his days as a teenager at Monaco.
And while Tuchel has called Mbappe a ‘super nice, intelligent and funny’ off the pitch, he’s claimed the striker’s shark-like mentality on it is what will make him an all-time great one day.
Tuchel told BT Sport: “If he wants to be there, he has to push them [Messi and Ronaldo] aside. That is clear.
“Scoring a hat-trick at the Nou Camp is a message and it’s what he demands of himself.
“It is his potential, it is what he has in him.
“He’s a shark, in his mentality… he wants to grab everything that he can have. This is the mentality that you need.
“And I mean it in a positive way because he’s a nice guy in private and in person, super nice guy, super intelligent, super funny.
Haaland and Mbappe are already well on their way to taking over from Ronaldo and Messi as football’s kings
“But once he’s on the pitch he’s a shark and that’s what the best guys are.
“If you drop one drop of blood in the water they arrive, and this is Kylian.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea kick-off their Champions League knockout stages with their first-leg of the last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid played in Bucharest due to coronavirus restrictions.
And Tuchel admitted he tried to sign Atleti star Luis Suarez from Barcelona in the summer while still in charge of PSG.
Calling Suarez a ‘natural-born striker’, Tuchel claimed: “It was a possibility to sign him in Paris.
“We heard the rumours he was about to leave Barcelona – and who can not be interested in signing one of the best strikers in world football, past and present?
“We tried our luck, we did not make it. He decided to stay in Spain, move to Atletico and has proven his quality.
“He maybe would’ve been a fit to our squad in Paris. Now things are different.”