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Neymar, Mbappe the two best in the world, says PSG’s Al-Khelaifi

mbappeneymar - Cropped PSG duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe (source: Getty Images)

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are the best two players in the world, according to Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

Newly appointed Brazil captain Neymar was a headline omission from FIFA’s 10-man shortlist for the body’s Best awards, with Mbappe included after starring in France’s World Cup success, although the teenager did not make the final three.

Neymar helped PSG to win a domestic treble in his first season after his €222million world-record move from Barcelona but they fell short in the Champions League, losing both legs in the round of 16 to Real Madrid.

PSG travel to Liverpool in their first group game of the 2018-19 campaign on Tuesday, with Neymar rested for Friday’s Ligue 1 game with Saint-Etienne, a match Mbappe misses through suspension.

And while Al-Khelaifi cannot be deemed an impartial observer, he rates the attacking duo above players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.

“Mbappe is already one of the best players in the world. And Neymar,” PSG’s president told Marca. “To be honest, I see them as the two best in the world.

“Winning the World Cup at that age and playing as Kylian has is incredible and an added value for the club. He always wants to win, like [Edinson] Cavani, [Angel] Di Maria… I think we have an incredible team.

“Of course, we have the best strikers. But there are also Cavani, Di Maria… And it is a pride, but the good thing is that this allows you to think about a long-term project. We will go for each title and we will fight because it is our obligation.”

Champions League improvement is a 2018-19 goal for PSG, who have never progressed further than the quarter-finals of the competition.

Liverpool, Napoli and tournament debutants Red Star Belgrade represent a testing group, but Al-Khelaifi feels fortune could be a factor as Thomas Tuchel seeks to take PSG to the next level in Europe.

“We have a challenge, another one,” he added. “We have new players, an ambitious new coach, who motivates, with a new philosophy of work, players who come to be world champions…

“But you have to focus on every game, day by day, that’s the philosophy this year. And put all that together for the club.

“We also need a little more luck, believe in us, give the maximum until the end of each game because we have already seen that the Champions League comes down to details.”

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