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Pochettino: Mbappe didn't force me out of PSG

00:12 EAT 02/08/2022
Mauricio Pochettino Kylian Mbappe PSG 2021-22
The manager does not believe the forward was behind his exit despite rumours earlier this summer

Mauricio Pochettino has denied that Kylian Mbappe played any role in getting him sacked at Paris Saint-Germain. Pochettino's long-expected departure was finally confirmed last month after the Argentine again failed to deliver the Champions League title, and there had been speculation that Mbappe was behind the ouster.

But Mbappe himself had strongly denied on social media that he held any responsibility in the matter., and his statement has now been backed by his ex-boss.

PSG were dumped from Europe in the last 16 by Real Madrid last campaign, which was enough for club leadership to replace Pochettino with Christophe Galtier.

What has Pochettino said about Mbappe's involvement in his PSG departure?

In an interview with Argentinian outlet infobae, Pochettino said: "What I think is that PSG has done everything possible to retain Kylian and I also agree with that.

"He is one of the best players in world football today and I think that PSG, having all the resources to do it, have convinced him to stay. But I don't think Kylian is the one who designed the new project either [that saw me leave].

"Those who rule, in this case the president, are those who would have thought that the most convenient thing was a new project in the club."

What Pochettino has said about working with Lionel Messi?

Although Pochettino's time at PSG ended acrimoniously, he did enjoy a full season working with his compatriot Lionel Messi - whom he views as the best player on the planet.

"For me Leo Messi is the best in the world. There is no doubt," he added.

"Afterwards it is clear that Mbappe is a candidate to be able to receive that crown. There is Neymar, who for me is also one of the best players in the world."

Pochettino went on to back to Messi to shine for Argentina at the World Cup later this year.

"He is physically at his best and I think that age is something anecdotal," he said.

"I think he has the energy and ability to lead and to reach the World Cup in optimal conditions. I am lucky, thanks to football, for having lived so many moments with Leo in this time."

How does Pochettino rate his performance PSG as a whole?

Pochettino also took time to reflect on his stint at PSG as a whole, revealing that it has been an enjoyable experience despite some challenges.

"I think it has been very positive," he said. "Experiences must always be capitalised on and [we must] learn from them.

"We are rational beings who have to think that way. In the sporting aspect we have won the Cup, the Super Cup and the league in a year and a half, but it is clear that PSG's project is to win the Champions League and everything that is not winning the Champions League can always be thought to have been a failure.

"In any case, it is a failure of 50 years, not only of the last season, because PSG, especially in the last ten, eleven years, with the arrival of the new owners, has the objective of winning the Champions League."