KLAGENFURT, Austria — Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed his excitement at working with the “extraordinary” trio of World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe, Brazilian superstar Neymar and club-record goal scorer Edinson Cavani this coming season.
Speaking after a 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup at Worthersee Stadion, the German tactician joked that he wished they had not gone as far as they did in Russia this summer.
“We have extraordinary attackers with Kylian, Edinson and Neymar,” Tuchel said in a postmatch press conference. “I cannot wait to work with these special players.
“We must be patient, though, they all spent too long at the World Cup!”
Despite Timothy Weah opening the scoring and PSG leading until the hour mark, Bayern battled back to victory through Javi Martinez, Renato Sanches and Joshua Zirkzee goals.
Tuchel was not discouraged, though, and instead praised the performance of his young and inexperienced team.
“I am very proud of what we did here,” said the former Borussia Dortmund and Mainz 05 boss. “I really did not know what to expect.
“Our only experienced players were Adrien [Rabiot], Lassana [Diarra], Christopher [Nkunku] and Gianluigi [Buffon] — the others had never played at this level.”
Although Tuchel stuck to the positives after the Bayern loss, he has identified midfield as an area for improvement and declared his “love” for Rabiot who captained PSG on the day.
“We need to find a solution in midfield,” Tuchel admitted. “We must replace Thiago [Motta] — not only as a player, but also as a character. The market is open now, so we know what we need. We will see what is possible.
“You can see Adrien’s potential — he still has room to grow. I love this player. I love working with him and his potential is clear to see.
“Regarding Adrien’s contract situation, ultimately, it is up to him. He must decide if he wants to commit to us, to our style and to his formative club. Otherwise, he will go for a new challenge.”
Like Tuchel, Rabiot was full of praise for his younger teammates and felt that it was a valiant effort given the circumstances.
“Ours was a very young an inexperienced side,” said Rabiot. “Lassana, Christopher, Gianluigi and I had to guide the others.
“I am very happy with our work today. The coach asked us to avoid getting overrun against a more experienced side and we did that. We also showed our quality in a very good first half.
“We need to build on this. The coach is very happy — the final result was not important. We can be proud of our youngsters.”
Weah, who scored his first senior PSG goal by holding off Josip Stanisic before finishing past Sven Ulreich, also emphasised the youthful nature of Tuchel’s starting XI and how it bodes well for the future.
“Despite our defeat, we worked very well,” the U.S. international said. “Ours was a very young side and playing against Bayern was a great opportunity for us.
“Now, we must keep working hard. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for us but I think that we will win many matches.”
PSG will travel to Singapore next week and take on Arsenal and Atletico Madrid in their two other ICC matches.