Stop this nonsense! – Mbappe not better off without Neymar, says Marquinhos

By Sports Desk March 06, 2021

Paris Saint-Germain captain Marquinhos has described claims Kylian Mbappe plays better when Neymar is not in the team as "nonsense". 

Brazil international Neymar has not played since suffering an adductor injury against Caen in the Coupe de France on February 10. 

Mbappe has scored five goals in four appearances since then, including a stunning hat-trick in PSG's 4-1 win over Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash. 

Indeed, PSG have won 76.5 per cent of their Ligue 1 games this season that Neymar has not played in, compared to 54.5 per cent when he has featured. 

However, Marquinhos has given short shrift to the suggestion Mbappe flourishes in Neymar's absence. 

"I see people talking and we cannot go into these stories," he told RTL. "We have to stop with nonsense like that.

"We always want to have the best players with us. If you ask Kylian, I think he also prefers it when he has Neymar next to him. 

"Kylian was there and did the right thing, the other players too have been important in this game [against Barca]. When the team is good, that's where the individuals come out even more."

World Cup winner Mbappe has been in wonderful form this season, scoring 23 goals in 31 appearances across all competitions. 

PSG face Brest in the Coupe de France on Saturday before Wednesday's second leg against Barca, and Marquinhos is in no doubt that his 22-year-old team-mate has the belief to take centre stage again. 

"It [the first leg] boosted his confidence," he added. "Scoring three goals at Camp Nou is something very important for him and for us.

"Everyone understands what he is capable of. We are here to help him as much as possible. 

"He is a leader on the field with his personality and his qualities. He had an exceptional match."

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