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Everyone is in love with Mbappe, not just Zidane – Marquinhos

16:38 GMT 26/11/2019
Kylian Mbappe 2019
The Real Madrid boss has fuelled fresh talk of a transfer for the Paris Saint-Germain star, but his team-mate can't stand the thought of losing him

Zinedine Zidane’s recent declaration of love for Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe was meaningless, according to defender Marquinhos – because everybody is in love with him.

Real Madrid’s less than subtle courting of Mbappe continued on Monday as Zidane admitted to being “in love” with the 20-year-old, who has been linked with a move away from the Ligue 1 champions.

PSG sporting director Leonardo had previously requested Zidane stop talking about Mbappe, a warning he appears to have ignored ahead of the two sides' meeting in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

But for defender Marquinhos, Zidane’s infatuation with Mbappe is far from unusual.

“It's hard to imagine the future without Mbappe,” he admitted to reporters. “It's a very important game for the club.

“Everyone is in love with this player, not just Zidane. Even at his age, he is already very important for his club. We are lucky to have him with us. He is an important player who can make us win matches.”

There are a number of sub-plots brewing beneath the surface of what looked set to be one of the games of the season regardless, with Mbappe not the only player in the spotlight.

Neymar is set to start on the bench after an anonymous showing on his return from injury against Lille, while PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas has a point to prove after being shown the exit door at the Bernabeu.

“I think Ney is ready to start,” Marquinhos said. “Nobody wants to be on the bench on a match like this, at the Bernabeu.

“He is a player who takes his responsibilities, especially in this kind of match. He takes the ball to be aggressive and decisive.

“In matches like this one, it's good to have him with you. He's a different person on the team and I think he's going to play a good game.

“Keylor is an experienced goalkeeper who has won important titles.

“In Paris, he has already shown that he is a high-level goalkeeper. It is important for a team to have a goalkeeper who gives us serenity and confidence. He is doing that.”

With four wins from their four games in Europe this season, PSG are already through to the next round of the Champions League but would guarantee themselves top spot in Group A with a win or draw against Madrid.

Their opponents are five points clear of Club Brugge in second, but are not yet mathematically qualified and will want to avenge the 3-0 defeat they suffered in Paris earlier in the campaign.