Given the way the 2022 World Cup final played out, there was concern at Paris Saint-Germain that there could be a problem between Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.
Messi‘s Argentina won the title in Qatar and some of his teammates mocked the French forward.
But, PSG coach Christophe Galtier has looked to keep everyone on the same page and build unity in the dressing room ahead of the second half of the season, in which the Ligue 1 side will meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
“It’s important to have everyone back,” Galtier said in a press conference ahead of the upcoming league game against Rennes.
“We had our top players away in different places for two months, but now we’re having collective sessions again.
“During these sessions, we tried to get our players to establish connections again.
“The things we had started to do automatically were lost when everyone went away with their national teams, so it’s up to us to ensure they can rediscover the pleasure of playing together.
“We want to have much more of a bond than we have had in the first few post-World Cup games.
“Offensively, I want to make sure that Mbappe, Neymar and Messi can evolve in the areas of the pitch where they’re the most effective, and that they are on the best terms.
“After all, it’s their qualities that make the difference. The most important thing is to free them up to be as productive as possible.”
Galtier on Mbappe’s holidays
Although Mbappe returned to help PSG straight after the World Cup, he then went away on holiday to recharge.
“He has recovered well and is ready, just like Achraf Hakimi is,” the coach said.
“I don’t think he’ll be distracted by the World Cup disappointment. He keeps training like the great professional that he is.”