Xavi full of praise for Barcelona’s Jules Kounde: ‘He’s one of the best defenders in the world right now’

One of the key aspects in Barcelona’s win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in midweek was the performance of Jules Kounde, who was the primary defender against Kylian Mbappé for most of the night and had a fantastic outing facing his international teammate.

Kounde’s showing on Wednesday was perhaps the best in what has been a very impressive run of form for the former Sevilla man, who has now fully adapted to his role at right-back and has been a crucial piece in the Blaugrana’s defensive improvement over the last two months.

And Jules’ improved play has not gone unnoticed with his manager. Xavi Hernández was asked about Kounde in a press conference on Friday, and he was full of praise for the defender and explained how Barça managed to contain Mbappé in a collective way.

“He was one of the transfers that I asked for. He’s one of the best defenders in the world right now. Stopping Mbappé was a collective effort. Kounde did amazing against Mbappé but Lamine [Yamal] also helped him a lot.”

Xavi is right that Kounde didn’t stop Mbappé by himself and having many bodies constantly around the PSG superstar was important in containing him, but there’s no doubt Kounde played his part to perfection and will once again need to play very well in the second leg for Barça to finish the job and reach the semi-finals.

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