Mbappé chasing milestones in French league before summer exit

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PARIS — Kylian Mbappé has 12 matches left to play in the French league. Twelve matches left to set new records in a league he has dominated for years.

The star striker is leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season when his contract expires. He is widely expected to sign a lucrative deal with Real Madrid, the club he dreamt of playing for when he was a kid.

Since his debut with Monaco at age 16 in December 2015, Mbappé has scored 185 league goals, making him one of the top 10 marksmen in Ligue 1 history.

It’s impossible for the 2018 World Cup winner to catch Delio Onnis, the league’s all-time leader with 299 during the 1970s-80s. But Mbappé, who has 21 goals this season, has a chance to reach 200.

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At 25, Mbappe is already PSG’s all-time best scorer, with 244 in all competitions. He will set another record if he finishes as the league top scorer for a sixth consecutive time. He currently shares the record with Onnis, Carlos Bianchi and Jean-Pierre Papin.

PSG has dominated French football since Qatari owners took over in 2011, and is on track for a record-extending 12th league title. It hosts Rennes on Sunday with a 13-point lead over second-placed Brest.


Brest, the surprise of the season, will be without striker Steve Mounié for the next two games.

Mounié was suspended for his red card last week for elbowing a defender during a 1-0 win against Marseille. He will miss facing Strasbourg on Saturday then Le Havre.

Since coming back from two goals down to stun last season’s runner-up Lens on the opening day of the season, Brest has been living a fairy tale and has dreams of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time. Brest has a best league finish of eighth.


With Gennaro Gattuso gone, Marseille takes on Montpellier under new coach Jean-Louis Gasset. Some might say it’s good timing, since Gasset is a former Montpellier player and coach. He was born there and knows the club inside out.

Stuck in ninth place, Marseille needs to win to avoid getting distanced in the race for European spots. Gasset said his first task was to give players their confidence back to ensure the team stops conceding from individual errors.

“The mind is 80% of the performance,” Gasset said. “They’re professionals, they need to do a bit more. When you take goals like that, it’s not because of the tactical systems. We have to reassure the players. That’s how I started to work with them.”

The 70-year-old Gasset was appointed less than a month after getting fired by Ivory Coast. He faced questions about his age during his inaugural news conference in Marseille this week.

“Speaking of the greats,” Gasset said, “do people ask the question about (Arsene) Wenger, (Alex) Ferguson, (Raymond) Goethals? I’m not comparing myself to them. But age is the age in your head. I’ve got four months of my life to succeed in my mission.”