Kylian Mbappé: "I've worked on myself"
After the defeat to Manchester United, you'll have to very quickly get back into the competition. Do you feel ready?
"It's not the first time that we've lost the first match of the group stage. We know how to react. The matches succeed each other quickly and we'll try to win in Istanbul in order to honour the shirt and the club. All matches are important, but when you play every two or three days, it remains difficult, even if you are the biggest competitor."
We have the feeling that physically, the start of the season was very difficult for the Parisians. What's your view on it?
"The start of the season was difficult physically, but above all mentally, as we had no time to prepare. We came back from the final at the end of August, then headed off to link up with our national sides, while others had Covid. It was unique. It's a unique year and we have to adapt to it.
But mentally, it's difficult to get back on it. In my mind, and there are several of us who feel this, it's not a new season. It's as if last season has just continued. For me, we are at the 60th match of the season, and not the 9th match of the new season. For me, a new season is when you have had a break and time to recharge your batteries. Here, it's like we are in extra-time, it's a marathon that is continuing, and it's not straightforward.
Normally, after the final of the Champions League, whether you win or lose, you head off on holiday, or you have an international competition and then head on holiday. Whatever happens, you take a break from football, you recharge your batteries in order to be effective and you prepare for the new season. Here, we lost the final and we had to play again straight away. Me, I love playing, I love this sport, I love always being on the field, so you won't here me complaining about having matches to play. To say that it's not easy to deal with isn't a complaint, it's a statement."
After 5 matches, you've already been involved in 10 buts, with 6 goals and 4 assists. Is helping your team-mates to score something you have been working on?
"Of course. I think I have evolved and I am conscious of that every day. It's not perfect, I am not perfect. There are matches where I've not been good, but I'm continuing to progress. I also think you need to play with the others. You don't win games on your own, and that's the most important thing in a team sport. It's not perfect yet as I'm a forward and a forward, when it comes to it, is taught to be egotistical and in his bubble. It's a very special position and I know it's difficult to understand the mentality of a forward. I'm working on myself and I know that to win a game we all need to work together, and knowing how to make others shine is just as important as shining oneself. It's really something that I'm in the process of learning.
I know that it's not perfect, but I've shown that I'm capable of playing for others too, all the while keeping my desire to score goals, because that too can decided games. It's all a question of making the right choices and I'm in this phase, where I'm still learning to make the right choices. I have quite a number of areas where I need to make progress and I'm on the right path, so I'm happy."
Does the defeat in the opening match add to the pressure for the trip to Turkey to take on Istanbul Başakşehir ?
"No, no, because in the Champions League you always need to win your games. Even if we'd won the first match, it would still have had the same importance. We must win. When you play for Paris, you always need to win. Of course, when you lose, people always expect more from you. But the pressure will be the same. We always have the same pressure on us when we play, and that won't change against Istanbul."