Kylian Mbappe and Neymar will stay at Paris Saint-Germain for the rest of their careers, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has claimed.
The attacking pair played crucial roles in PSG’s dramatic 2-1 Champions League win over Atalanta on Wednesday, despite Mbappe only being fit to play the last 30 minutes.
Neymar made up for some glaring missed opportunities with the last touch before Marquinhos’ equaliser, while Mbappe raced clear in the dying moments to create the winner for unlikely hero Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
Al-Khelaifi was clearly relieved to see his side get their Champions League monkey off their back, after successive quarter-final exits in recent seasons.
“Everyone said that Paris was not ready for the Champions League but we showed a great mentality, with great players,” Al-Khelaifi told RMC Sport after the final whistle.
“Our goal is very big but we are not thinking today of the final, only the semi-final. It’s very important to change mentality.
“You too, the media, everyone doubts PSG. The Champions League, we needed this victory to go further.
“Neymar and Kylian are some of the best players in the world but it was the team that had a great game, even though Ney was really good.
“In recent months he has changed in the team. They’re both going to stay, they’re never going to leave!”
The game fell on the 50th anniversary of PSG’s formation, an occasion they eventually managed to mark in style.
That they were able to conjure a comeback in the dying moments was commendable, given they had played only two competitive games since their last-16 victory over Borussia Dortmund in March.
Their record since lockdown now reads: three games played, three games won, two trophies lifted. A third could be just two more wins away.
“It’s a very special evening with the anniversary of the club,” Al-Khelaifi said.
“It was not easy with the end of the league season but we gave everything we had on the field.
“I am really very proud. This is the first time that we have reached the semi-finals since the takeover in 2011.
“We now have to think about the semi-final and not think about the final.”