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Real Madrid boss Zidane declares love for PSG star Mbappe

15:42 GMT 25/11/2019
Kylian Mbappe PSG Marseille Ligue 1 27102019
The France international has long been a reported target for the Blancos and a fellow countryman admits he is more than a little fond of the forward

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane could once again face the wrath of Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo after declaring his love for Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, 20, is consistently linked with a move away from the Ligue 1 giants, where he has starred since arriving in 2017.

Zidane has long been an admirer of the France international and said last month it was Mbappe's dream to play for Los Blancos.

That led to Leonardo responding: "It annoys me a little and it bothers me. This is not the time to talk about this. He still has two and a half years of contract with us. It's time to stop all this."

Speaking ahead of Madrid's Champions League clash with PSG on Tuesday, Zidane once again expressed his admiration for the World Cup winner.

"You know that I have known him for a long time," he told a media conference. "I am already in love with him, firstly as a person, because he came to do a trial here a long time ago.

"On Tuesday he comes as a rival. What matters to me is what we are going to do and we are going to prepare for it. We know the player and we must be prepared."

Mbappe could line up alongside Neymar at the Santiago Bernabeu after the Brazilian superstar made his first appearance for a month in the Ligue 1 win over Lille on Friday.

Zidane believes the pair will be named in Thomas Tuchel's starting XI and expects a tough test against a side he ranks among the best in the world.

"Nothing changes for me because I think Neymar and Mbappe are going to play," he explained. "We are prepared in any case to play against any team.

"PSG is a very good team. I think it will be a great game. Since the beginning of the season they have not had many failures; they have lost very little in the league.

"I see a team that is progressing very well. They are one of the best teams in the world.

"They will demand a lot from us and we know that. In the end, we're going to need a lot of things – our heads, our hearts and a lot of good football. We need to work well with the ball."

Madrid are five points behind PSG at the summit of Group A but will qualify for the last 16 if they overcome the French champions.