Real cap­tain Ramos would wel­come teen star Mbappe

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Real Madrid cap­tain Ser­gio Ramos says French teen striker Kylian Mbappe will be­come a wel­come ad­di­tion for the reign­ing Cham­pi­ons League and La Liga cham­pi­ons should he de­cide to leave Monaco. The 18 year-old for­ward is wanted by Real Madrid man­ager Zine­dine Zi­dane, with the Span­ish gi­ants poised to make him one of the most ex­pen­sive play­ers of all time in a move that could cost around $211 mil­lion (180 mil­lion eu­ros).

Ramos was adamant Mbappe has the qual­i­ties to be­come of the best in the world. “It’s not a de­ci­sion for me but Mbappe is a great prospect. There are not young play­ers around like him. We have an im­por­tant year ahead of us and al­ready have ex­cel­lent play­ers,” Ramos said ahead of yes­ter­day’s meet­ing with arch-ri­vals Barcelona in Mi­ami.

“But it’s money which moves foot­ball and peo­ple can pay what they want. If he wants to come to Real Madrid, the doors will be open.” While Zi­dane smiled through his press con­fer­ence here, Barcelona have been fight­ing to keep su­per­star Ney­mar from ac­cept­ing Paris St Ger­main’s riches.

The French leg­end de­clined to twist the knife re­gard­ing Ney­mar. “We will see what hap­pens,” Zi­dane said. “He’s a good player. They are our most im­por­tant ri­vals but we lost our last match against Manch­ester City and we want to put in a strong per­for­mance.

“We are happy, want to per­form, we want to be phys­i­cally bet­ter. That’s our goal, but we are so happy to be here.” Madrid will boast a strong squad al­though Real en­ters the match with­out Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, who has missed the US tour.

“Yes I am happy with what we have right now,” said Zi­dane. “But we have a good squad even though we are miss­ing Cris­tiano here. He is on va­ca­tion, and he can en­joy that and be ready for the sea­son.”

Ron­aldo kept the In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­ons Cup or­ga­niz­ers wait­ing un­til the very last minute be­fore de­cid­ing he would not be play­ing. The Por­tuguese star has been in Asia com­plet­ing com­mer­cial obli­ga­tions and is ex­pected in court on Mon­day in Madrid to tes­tify in a tax-eva­sion case, mean­ing his pres­ence in South Florida was al­ways highly doubt­ful.

“Un­for­tu­nately, Ron­aldo’s per­sonal com­mit­ments pre­cluded him from be­ing here,” Char­lie Stil­li­tano, chair­man of or­gan­is­ers Relevent Sports, told the Mi­ami Her­ald. “He re­ally wanted to be here. This is not a diva sit­u­a­tion. He was hop­ing that he could make it. He waited un­til to­day to let us know, but it just didn’t work out. We still have the two best teams and the top stars mi­nus one.” — AFP

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