Portugal’s Nuno Mendes Excited to Face Former PSG Teammate Kylian Mbappé in Euro 2024 Quarterfinal

Portugal’s left-back Nuno Mendes is gearing up to face France’s star player and his former teammate, Kylian Mbappé, in the upcoming Euro 2024 quarterfinals. Having spent two seasons playing alongside Mbappé at Paris Saint-Germain, Mendes is looking forward to the challenge of going head-to-head with the talented forward. Additionally, Mendes now shares a dressing room with five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal’s national team, making for an interesting dynamic as he prepares for the match.

Mendes had only high praise for both Mbappé and Ronaldo, referring to them as “high-level, excellent players who can make a difference at any moment.” Having had the experience of playing alongside these two superstars, Mendes expressed his admiration for their skills and game-changing abilities. When asked to choose between Mbappé and Ronaldo, Mendes humorously quipped, “It’s complicated. If I were a coach, I would choose both.”

Mendes’ Confidence Against France

Despite the formidable challenge that France poses, Mendes remains confident in his team’s abilities. He emphasized the importance of preparation and stated, “I train every day for these moments and we are prepared to face them.” Aware of the threat that Mbappé and other key players in the French squad pose, Mendes stressed the need for Portugal to play to their strengths and nullify the attacking prowess of their opponents.

Les Bleus have relied on penalties and own goals to progress in the tournament, highlighting their struggles to find the back of the net in open play. Mendes acknowledged this fact, stating, “I think it’s good for us, it’s a good indicator.” He recognized the scoring instincts of players like Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé, emphasizing the need for Portugal to be defensively solid and prevent France from scoring.

Ronaldo’s Euro 2024 Campaign

Heading into the quarterfinal clash, Ronaldo finds himself in a goal drought at Euro 2024, having only scored from the penalty spot. Despite his prolific record in the tournament, Ronaldo missed a penalty against Slovenia and had to be consoled by his teammates after a difficult moment on the pitch. Mendes highlighted the team’s support for Ronaldo, noting, “It was a difficult moment for him. We are all here to help and he was in a less good moment.”

The unity and camaraderie within the Portuguese squad have been instrumental in their success, with goalkeeper Diogo Costa stepping up to make crucial saves during the penalty shootout against Slovenia. Mendes emphasized the team’s strength and solidarity, pointing out that it was their unity that carried them through challenging moments in the tournament.

Nuno Mendes stands ready to take on the challenge of facing Kylian Mbappé and France in the Euro 2024 quarterfinals. With the support of his teammates and the guidance of legends like Cristiano Ronaldo, Mendes is poised to make an impact on the pitch and contribute to Portugal’s quest for European glory.


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