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Paredes sees Mbappe being more Ronaldo than Messi as PSG midfielder discusses playing with superstars

13:39 BST 25/06/2021
Kylian Mbappe Cristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi
The Argentina international is in the fortunate position of playing alongside some iconic figures for club and country

Leandro Paredes plays and trains with Kylian Mbappe on a daily basis at Paris Saint-Germain and considers the French forward to be more like Cristiano Ronaldo in the talent stakes than Lionel Messi.

The Argentina international is well placed to pass that judgement as he plays alongside six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi when representing his country.

The combative 26-year-old midfielder also works with Brazil superstar Neymar at club level, allowing him to assess the ability of some of the finest performers walking the planet.

What has been said?

Asked by Ole for his take on World Cup winner Mbappe, Paredes said: "As a player, I think he goes more for Cristiano's side, more of an athlete. He is amazing physically. 

"I think Ney and Leo have a different talent than Cristiano and Kylian, but they are physically incredible. And we must add about the quality they have."

Messi magic

The brilliance of Barcelona icon Messi still leaves Paredes in awe on a regular basis, although he admits that Argentina are learning not to lean quite so heavily on their talismanic captain.

Paredes, who is currently on Copa America duty, added: "When we had to play several games with Rodri de Paul, we realised that it wasn’t an obligation to look for Leo, but that we should find him when he can take advantage of things.

"I think that while his presence leads you to want to give the ball to him, he isn’t always the best option. He also has to be intelligent in that sense.

"What is most surprising about Leo though is that sometimes he gets out of situations where we believe that we have to start running backwards. Sometimes you say: 'He loses it, he loses it', and he did not lose it. It's incredible.

"You say to yourself: 'Now we have to start running backwards' because he is locked between three or four defenders and suddenly he comes out with a clean ball. On the pitch you think: 'What did he do?! How did you get out of there?'"

Working with superstars

Paredes - who arrived at PSG in January 2019 via Boca Juniors, Roma and Zenit - is now experienced enough to take playing alongside legends in his stride, but he admits that first meeting the likes of Messi and Neymar can be daunting.

He added: "It’s difficult before you arrive. You start to think about how they’ll be, how they’ll receive you and how they’ll treat you. 

"I was lucky that both have treated me in the best way. They’ve both made me feel very comfortable, and I have a very good relationship with both of them. 

"I really enjoy being able to play with them and being able to share the dressing room with them."

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