Kieran Trippier reveals Kylian Mbappe ‘banter’ ahead of Newcastle United Champions League tie v PSG

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Kieran Trippier is relishing the prospect of facing Paris Saint-Germain and Kylian Mbappe with Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Wednesday night.

Newcastle’s first Champions League match at St James’ Park in over 20 years sees them welcome the Ligue 1 champions PSG as well as a player Trippier dubbed ‘one of the best players in the world’ in Mbappe.

“This is football,” Trippier said ahead of the match. “These are the levels you want to play at in the Champions League against the best players and the best teams.

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Paris have got unbelievable players in their team. Of course we have to recognise that Mbappe is one of the best players in the world but they’ve got quality all over the pitch.

“We can’t be too fazed by that, we need to play our way.”

Paris Saint-Germain's French forward #07 Kylian Mbappe (2R) talks with Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian defender #05 Marquinhos (2L) during a team training session at St James's Park stadium in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on October 3, 2023, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League group F football match against Newcastle United. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)Paris Saint-Germain's French forward #07 Kylian Mbappe (2R) talks with Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian defender #05 Marquinhos (2L) during a team training session at St James's Park stadium in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on October 3, 2023, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League group F football match against Newcastle United. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
Paris Saint-Germain's French forward #07 Kylian Mbappe (2R) talks with Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian defender #05 Marquinhos (2L) during a team training session at St James's Park stadium in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on October 3, 2023, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League group F football match against Newcastle United. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Unlike many of his Newcastle team-mates, Trippier has faced off against Mbappe on a number of occasions previously - including the French forward’s European debut for Monaco in the Europa League back in 2015.

“I think it might have been his debut game for Monaco against Tottenham,” Trippier recalled. “I played against him for England on my debut quite a few years ago but he’s a fantastic player and you want to play against the best players.

“For me personally it’s a challenge that I’m ready for. I’ve played against many good players and many good wingers in my career. This game is going to be no different.

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“The Champions League is where I want to play, and you play against the best wingers in the world.”

France’s midfielder Kylian Mbappe (C) runs with the ball towards England’s defender Kieron Trippier (R) and England’s midfielder Phillip Jones (L) during the international friendly football match between France and England at The Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis near Paris on June 13, 2017.                 / AFP PHOTO / Thomas SAMSON France’s midfielder Kylian Mbappe (C) runs with the ball towards England’s defender Kieron Trippier (R) and England’s midfielder Phillip Jones (L) during the international friendly football match between France and England at The Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis near Paris on June 13, 2017.                 / AFP PHOTO / Thomas SAMSON
France’s midfielder Kylian Mbappe (C) runs with the ball towards England’s defender Kieron Trippier (R) and England’s midfielder Phillip Jones (L) during the international friendly football match between France and England at The Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis near Paris on June 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Thomas SAMSON | AFP via Getty Images

Trippier gave up Champions League football with Atletico Madrid to join a Newcastle side in the midst of a relegation battle in January 2022. And at the earliest possible opportunity, the 33-year-old is back playing against Europe’s elite once again.

“When I first signed [for Newcastle], my thought process was my family,” Trippier continued. “When I look back, it’s with huge pride at the big steps we’ve taken in a short space of time.

“No one would have thought that we would have been back in the Champions League so quickly, but I think we’ve earned the right to be in the position that we’re in.

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“Everyone’s done unbelievably, from the manager to the owners, and the direction they want to go in, and most importantly, the players that were here before the takeover happened because they’ve been unbelievable.”

While Trippier’s family were the main reason behind him returning to England with Newcastle, the England international has jokingly clashed with his son, Jacob, ahead of Wednesday’s night’s match.

“I was having a bit of banter with him last night,” Trippier revealed. “He said he wanted to walk out with Mbappe instead of me - I wasn’t really happy with that!

“He’s obsessed with him, always watching his clips on YouTube. I said to him, ‘if you get to walk out with Mbappe, you don’t look at me in the tunnel!’”

Wednesday night could be a rare occasion in which Trippier doesn’t lead Newcastle out as captain with Jamaal Lascelles back in contention for a starting spot amid Sven Botman’s injury absence.

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