Midfielder Nuri Sahin (32) from Turkish first division team Antalyaspor has before the upcoming second leg in the Champions League semi-final between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain (Tuesday, 9 p.m. on LIVE-TICKER and live DAZN) raved about PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe.
“I played against him when he was 17 years old and still with Monaco,” Sahin recalled in an interview with SPOX and Goal of the duels with his former club Borussia Dortmund in the premier class against the Monegasque: “He was unbelievable. He immediately reminded me of Thierry Henry.”
The 22-year-old Mbappe is a “very, very good player. It’s a pleasure to watch him,” added Sahin: “I like what he does and I like his personality.” The French appear modest on the one hand, and arrogant in a certain way on the other. “His potential is insane.”
After the 1: 2 defeat in the first leg against the Skyblues, Mbappe and Co. fear for a place in the final of the premier class. Nevertheless, Sahin does not see the Parisians without a chance. “It will of course be difficult for them. City go into the second leg with a perfect result thanks to the two away goals and everyone expects them to advance,” said Sahin. However, it is now against PSG “and everyone, including Pep Guardiola, knows that this team can score goals at any time”.
Above all, the offensive series around Mbappe and his team-mate Neymar could decide the game: “If you have them, anything can happen.”
Chelsea under Tuchel? “Tactically play perhaps the best football”
The second finalist comes from the duel between Chelsea FC and Real Madrid. The first meeting ended in a 1-1 draw, and Sahin does not have a clear favorite in this encounter either. “I think it will be an open game like it was in the first leg,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
Both teams are in good shape. The Blues benefit from head coach Thomas Tuchel, who took over as coach from Frank Lampard in January. “Chelsea play really well under Tuchel. They may be playing the best football tactically at the moment,” said Sahin, ennobling his former coach from Dortmund.
The 47-year-old is “tactically very good” and you can see that the team has a clear plan. With Zinedine Zidane, however, he has a name at the Royal that knows the competition very well.
“Zidane is the head of the Champions League,” said Sahin, praising the French, who has already won the handlebar three times with the Madrilenians as coach. Los Blancos are “still in a good mood” despite the contrary public perception. “I keep my fingers crossed for them and I think they can do it,” added Sahin, who ran for the Spaniards from 2011 to 2012.