Controversy surrounds Luis enrique’s handling of kylian mbappe as PSG faces real sociedad in champions league clash.

Paris Saint-Germain’s preparations for the crucial Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Sociedad on Tuesday have been marred by controversy over coach Luis Enrique’s management of star player Kylian Mbappe.

Despite a favorable 2-0 lead from the first leg against Real Sociedad, the focus has shifted to Mbappe’s situation after he expressed his intention to leave PSG when his contract expires at the end of the season. Instead of capitalizing on having Mbappe available, Luis Enrique has opted to reduce the star’s playing time, making tactical decisions that have raised eyebrows.

Following Mbappe’s goal in the first-leg victory, Luis Enrique left him on the bench in the subsequent game against Nantes, later bringing him on to score a penalty in a 2-0 win. In the following match against Rennes, Mbappe, starting as captain, was substituted at the 65th minute, and his replacement, Goncalo Ramos, scored the equalizer in a 1-1 draw.

Mbappe, PSG’s all-time top scorer with 244 goals, had rarely been substituted earlier in a game unless due to injury or when the team was comfortably ahead. However, in a recent match against Monaco, he was substituted at half-time during a goalless draw. Luis Enrique justified the decision, stating, “Sooner or later we are going to have to play without him, so I am trying to find the best way of doing so.”

Speculations about Mbappe’s future at Real Madrid intensified after Luis Enrique’s comments in a press conference last week, suggesting PSG would have “a much better team” next season.

The handling of Mbappe’s playing time ahead of a crucial Champions League match has raised questions and criticisms. Alain Roche, a former PSG defender and sporting director, remarked, “I don’t understand. I get the impression that ever since he told the club he was leaving he has been punished by the coach, or maybe the punishment has been imposed by the directors.”

Despite leading Ligue 1 comfortably, Luis Enrique’s decisions regarding Mbappe have sparked controversy just days before the crucial second leg against Real Sociedad, with former players and pundits expressing concerns about the timing of the controversy and its potential impact on the team’s performance.