Mauricio Pochettino reveals the differences between France and England stars; Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane ahead of the England and France quarter-final clash.
Being the only manager to have coached both Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe, Pochettino seems to know much about the pair than anyone.
Pochettino coached Tottenham between 2014 and 2019 and witnessed the emergence of the 29-year-old Harry Kane as a world-class player.
Thereafter, he took charge of PSG in January 2021 and remained at Parc des Princes until last season with Kylian Mbappe being one of his vital instruments, including Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Ahead of England and reigning world champions, France’s World Cup quarter-final clash, Pochettino has analyzed the differences between the two legendary strikers.
Mbappe has scored five goals for France so far in the World Cup tournament and has established himself as Les Bleus’ main attacking threat.
He scored a brace in France’s 3-1 victory over Poland in the last 16 to make him the tournament’s current highest goal scorer with five.
On the other hand, Harry Kane scored his first goal in Qatar World Cup during England’s 3-0 victory over Senegal in the last 16 and remains the joint-top assist provider at the tournament.
Discussing the clear discrepancies in the physicality of each player, Mauricio Pochettino has reviewed the key differences he found in managing both strikers.
Writing in a column for The Athletic, the former Tottenham boss Pochettino reveals his former strikers are outstanding players whose playing sessions do not end on the pitch as they also learn by watching football.
Pochettino said: “Harry is someone who does need to feel connected with the game.
“But Kylian is the opposite. If he doesn’t touch the ball, he’s relaxed. He’s so confident in himself, he knows that when the ball reaches him, he is still going to beat his opponent and do what he knows best.
“Kylian also loves to watch football, and talk about football. Sometimes, players with that much talent are not so interested in tactics, organization, and how teams play.
“They’re more focused on amazing goals or actions. But Kylian loves to talk about tactics and to understand the game. This is something that unites Harry and Kylian. They love the game.”
The former PSG boss revealed the England and France stars are passionate players who genuinely love football.
He said: “Sometimes, big players love playing football but they don’t love the game itself.
“But these two genuinely love the game itself. They love to talk about football, they love to talk about tactics, and they have brains that understand football.”
Pochettino disclosed that he would ‘love’ to see Kane and Mbappe in the same club and believes the duo could strike a similar partnership to Kane and Son Heung-min.
He added: “And this is why I think it would be so good to see them playing together. They would be completely compatible. It could be similar to the bond that Harry has with Son Heung-min at Spurs.
“The connection would be amazing, and the two could share ideas about tactics and movements.”
“Maybe it will never happen; when I was at PSG, I knew Tottenham would never want to sell Harry. And I never wanted to do anything that would affect Tottenham, because I love Tottenham.
“But maybe one day in the future, if I am at a different club, and if Harry has decided to leave Tottenham, I would try to bring Harry with me. And so if you asked me to name two great attacking players who could play well together, it would be Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe.”
Both veteran strikers are set to come face-to-face when the Three Lions take on Les Bleus in the World Cup quarter-final on Saturday, December 10.
England and France’s crucial clash will take place at Al Bayt Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 8 pm.