"Mbappé would be a guarantee for Real Madrid"

The coach who opted for the man of the moment attends AS in full search of new challenges: "If he ends up in Madrid it will be a guarantee."


Leonardo Jardim (Venezuela, 1974) was largely responsible for the 'Mbappé boom' in 2017. The former Monaco coach took him up to train when the Frenchman was 16 years old and the rest is history. Pending new projects, Jardim attends AS to assess the future of the French crack, among many other issues.

When will you return to the bench?

I am enjoying family, but a coach is always ready to come back. My last experience was at Monaco and now I am waiting to join a club that believes in my work method.

You know Mbappé very well. How was your relationship with him?

Mbappé started training with us in the first team when he was 16 years old. Little by little we worked with him to give him experience with training. In the second year he started better and was already entering the dynamics. He started to play very well scoring many goals and in very important matches.

What do you think was the turning point in Mbappé's career?

When we eliminated City, he played a very good Champions League game and became a tremendously important player for the team. I always tried to help him. Not only with Mbappé: Fabinho at Liverpool, Bakayoko at Napoli, Bernardo Silva ... They all have things from our work. Also with Lemar, he didn't play at first. Then, little by little, a space was gained. It has a furnished head.

Did you think you had someone special on your staff?

He is a great player, a very talented player. I saw that he was going to be the best in the world, playing so many games in a row and scoring. Do you understand Mbappé was very important in the league that we won because he had very good qualities that made him different from the rest.

What would you contribute to Madrid?

I think that if Madrid have the possibility of signing Mbappé it will be a guarantee for the team. Of course, I think that if Madrid hires Mbappé it will be a stronger team. Or as teams that have Cristiano, Haaland, Messi ... players with very great conditions that give more strength to the team.

Do you think he will end up in Madrid?

I think it is not easy to enter Madrid. French culture is a different culture from Spanish but it is good to know that he has adapted and that he can play now because he has many qualities.

Can you imagine him with Haaland in Madrid?

I think that with Haaland he can also play together in attack but they are different. Kilian can fall to the wings, he can have depth, Haaland is more about support: they are very good players, young and now we have to look at what awaits them in the future and if he would pass through Spain.

Speaking of Spain, you were close to coming ...

That's it. It was not for any reason other than when I received an offer from Spain, just at that moment the president of Monaco called me because he needed me. I couldn't put him aside because he is a person I respect a lot and I have a great relationship with him. He had to go back to Monaco as he said. Spain is always a great championship. In Spain I would work in a place with great ambitions. When I was at Olympiakos it was to win in Greece, with Sporting in Portugal too and I like to play to win.In addition, in Monaco he coincides with several Spaniards, among them Diego Pérez (current director of the Lille analysis department) who is doing very well. What memory do you keep of them?

Very good people and great professionals who helped me a lot.

One last question. Do you regret not having signed for that Spanish team?

No, because life is opportunities, you don't have to see it that way. If it happens, it happens in the future. We always have to have a positive view of things. If it doesn't happen, then nothing happens because this is football, although we must be prepared for any challenge. You never know.

Photos from as.com
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