Kylian Mbappe

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LeBron James praises Liverpool, Kylian Mbappe

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LeBron James, minority owner in Liverpool Football Club, has praised Kylien Mbappe.

That sound you can hear is Liverpool fans everywhere furiously typing out #Mbappe2020 once again.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The legendary NBA star hosted an Instagram chat on Monday and was asked about his favorite soccer players. Here was the answer James gave.

“Favorite soccer players … I got a few,” LeBron James said. “First of all, every player on Liverpool. Straight up. Every player on Liverpool. Mbappe, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, those guys are legends, I love those guys. Those are just a few of them.”

James also gave praise to Lionel Messi and someone else said Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Zlatan? His crazy ass. He crazy, but he damn good, though,” LeBron James responded. 

It is unlikely Liverpool would sign Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo but the fact James mentioned Mbappe as one of his favorite players is intriguing.

Look, it’s not like James has any say in who Liverpool sign and their transfer policy. Of course he doesn’t. However, with Liverpool moving to Nike as their kit sponsor from this summer, James could be popping up at lot more at Anfield and Mbappe is also sponsored by Nike.

Did somebody say, synergy? Could Liverpool afford Mbappe? Probably not anytime soon. Still, the rumblings about him coming to the Premier League one day continue.

LeBron James is a keen soccer fan and when his playing days are over in the NBA, you could certainly see him branching out and owning a team, maybe in Major League Soccer, maybe in Europe. Who knows?

It remains to be seen if Liverpool fans everywhere will now start to send the Mbappe to Liverpool rumors into overdrive again.

PSG players climb stadium to sing with banned fans

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Paris Saint-Germain’s stars made sure their fans knew how they felt about the boisterous support outside the empty Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

PSG beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 to advance to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-2 aggregate win.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The fans brought the atmosphere outside the stadium during and after the match, dodging coronavirus fears and governmental advice.

Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Angel Di Maria and a host of PSG players then climbed atop the stadium to salute the supporters as they partied into the night.

PSG’s players also caught plenty of flak for celebrations in their locker room, as Mbappe and other posted video mocking BVB star Erling Haaland’s yoga goal celebration.

Back to the partying with the fans… the club sure leaned into it on social media. PSG is pulling out all the stops to build momentum in a competition that has not seen them reach a semifinal this century.

Haaland wins first leg after Borussia Dortmund-PSG comes to life late

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Erling Haaland scored twice in a mid-second half flurry as Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The hosts also got an assist from teenager Giovanni Reyna, who became the youngest American to appear in a Champions League match.

Haaland now has 39 goals in 29 appearances between Red Bull Salzburg and BVB, 11 of those for his new German employer.

Neymar scored off a Kylian Mbappe goal for PSG, who brings an away goal back to the Parc des Princes for a March 11 second leg.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Neymar had an early free kick, missing just wide of the far post.

Jadon Sancho troubled the keeper twice in the first half hour, first with a cross that Mats Hummels headed over goal. Then, Keylor Navas picked another Sancho offering out of the air.

Sancho kept serving, and Erling Haaland couldn’t turn a promising cross on target.

Dortmund walked into halftime with a scoreless match but a 7-2 edge in shot attempts. Neither of PSG’s shots were on target.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre put in American teen Giovani Reyna in the 67th minute.

Two minutes later, it was 1-0 to the hosts through Haaland’s close-range goal.

Neymar replied from close range himself after a powerful, clever dribble from Kylian Mbappe led to a pass through the box.

But Haaland got his second in the 77th minute with a scorching shot that serves as the first senior assist of Reyna’s senior career with Dortmund (Watch it here).

Neymar out of French squad for injury, not birthday party

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Thomas Tuchel was unimpressed by the timing of Neymar’s annual big birthday blowout, but that’s not why the Brazilian will not play at Nantes on Tuesday.

Paris Saint-Germain’s manager says Neymar suffered a rib cartilage injury and will not be fit to participate in the Ligue 1 match. PSG leads the league field by 12 points through 22 matches.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

So Tuchel is not risking the ire of one of his biggest stars, though many would jump to that conclusion after disapproving comments regarding Neymar holding a birthday party between matches.

“I always protect my players, and I really love my team,” he said. “With this party, I accept that it is a bit difficult to protect the players, but the context is not simply black or white. It is a shame because we are giving people the chance to speak badly of us. We need to adapt to the situation, but I am not going to leave a player on the bench or at home because they went out and celebrated.”

The club cannot avoid controversy in recent weeks. Even in this weekend’s blowout 5-0 win, the headlines were Kylian Mbappe’s confrontation with Tuchel after being subbed out of the win.

Neymar was injured in the defeat of Montpellier, and Tuchel insists there are no problems between him and either star striker.

Reports that PSG wants to lock Neymar down to a new deal add intrigue to the coming fallout. The Brazilian has been flirting with Barcelona and Real Madrid since summer (and possibly earlier).

The PSG job sometimes feel like a poisoned chalice, with the players having incredible power at the Parc des Princes and expectations always sky high.

PSG meets Lyon at the weekend before playing the French Cup quarterfinals on Feb. 12 and starting its UCL Round of 16 tie with Borussia Dortmund six days later.

Mbappe lavishes praise on Liverpool

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The calls are growing for Kylian Mbappe to join Liverpool and these comments will add further fuel to the fire.

Mbappe, 21, has called Liverpool a ‘machine’ as the Paris Saint-German and France star continues to be linked with a move to Anfield in 2020. That’s right, this summer, and that is why #Mbappe2020 is trending pretty much every day.

Speaking to the BBC, Mbappe was asked about Liverpool’s incredible season as they sit 16 points clear atop the Premier League with a game in hand.

“What Liverpool do in this moment is amazing,” Mbappe said. “They’re like a machine, they’ve found a rhythm and are like ‘we play again, we play again’. They’ve lost zero games. When you watch you think everything’s easy but that’s not easy. The guys are focused, they play games every three days and they win, they win, they win. Now the problem is that everybody watches Liverpool, and everybody watches what we can do against them, so now they have to show they are strong again but it’s a very good team with a very good manager.”

Could Liverpool afford Mbappe? It will likely cost them a world-record fee of over $250 million and it would be unlike Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff to spend that amount on a player who already looks the finished article.

Instead their recruitment policy is mostly about buyng players who they can improve into top talents. See: Mane, Sadio. Robertson, Andrew. Wijnaldum, Georginio, to name just a few. However, Liverpool have shown they will spend big if the right players comes along as Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson proved.

Signing Mbappe would be on another level altogether and PSG would not want to lose the French superstar as Real Madrid also push hard to sign him.

Mbappe 2020 may not happen but he is clearly a fan of Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.

That sound you can hear is Liverpool fans rushing out to get Mbappe’s name printed on the back of their jersey.