Shh! Mbappe is a generational player and should be treated with respect | Football News

Shh! Mbappe is a generational player and should be treated with respect | Football News

Kylian Mbappe stunned his critics into silence to all intents and purposes when he led Paris Saint-Germain’s extraordinary comeback in the Champions League, Europe’s top club competition, on Tuesday night.

Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe celebrates(REUTERS)
Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates(REUTERS)

In the quarterfinal first-leg tie last week, when Barcelona, fuelled by the performances of their youngsters, edged PSG 3-2 in their own den at the Parc des Princes, Mbappe particularly came in for a lot of criticism.

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A lot of fans who are not happy with the fact the France World Cup winner is set to join Spanish giants Real Madrid at the end of the season… they particularly went at him. Some suggested he was over-rated, and some said he doesn’t care for PSG anymore now that he was on the way out. Mbappe would have been hurt for sure. In the age of social media, every celebrity knows what’s going on around them.

The criticism was indeed out of line. Mbappe is no ordinary player. He is only 25 years of age and has already won a World Cup. With a little bit of luck, he could have won his second. Fans will remember how despite his hat-trick – a rare thing in the World Cup finals — France fell short against Argentina in Qatar less than two years ago.

He must have been terribly hurt in the wake of the defeat against Barcelona in the first leg. His credentials as well as his work ethic were questioned after all.

They say, cometh the hour, cometh the man. Mbappe epitomised that and scored two goals in the 61st (a penalty) and 89th minutes to help PSG beat the Catalan club 4-1 in the second leg and advance to the semi-finals 6-4 on aggregate.

Last time around, the Barca defence led by Jules Kounde and teenager Pau Cubarsi had reined him in, but on Tuesday night, Mbappe was like: catch me if you can!

Mbappe showed that great footballers are great not just because of the skills they have to offer but also because of their work ethics. A lesser player, especially the one who would soon be out of PSG’s ranks, may not have taken the criticism to heart and as a result may not have given his best in the last few weeks of his stay at the club. But Mbappe is Mbappe, not any lesser football player.

Appears Mbappe has decided he is not leaving the club quietly. Before he walks out, he is going to win a few trophies. In Ligue 1, PSG presently enjoy a 10-point lead. At this stage, they are overwhelming favourites to win the league (since Mbappe joined them they have already won it five times).

Not just the league title, the kind of determination Mbappe showed at Barcelona, fans should not be surprised if PSG go on to win the Champions League. That’s a big trophy Mbappe has not won at PSG yet. In fact, PSG have not done it even once in their history. He would love to have that box ticked before leaving the club.

If he succeeds, he will sure become part of PSG folklore as their greatest player ever. If any doubts are still around regarding his being the greatest of all time there, they would be completely blown away like cobwebs with the Champions League trophy.

Mbappe, who has scored eight goals in the Champions League and 41 goals in 42 matches across competitions in 2023-24, after the match made it pretty clear what he wants. “I dream of winning the Champions League with Paris …We’re going to try to go to Wembley,” he said.

Despite great expectations and wild celebrations among Barcelona fans last week, their manager Xavi had tried to play down their win by saying PSG were still the favourites to advance to the next round. One can see now why he thought like that. Mbappe must have been on his mind, for sure. PSG now play Germany’s Borussia Dortmund in the semis and they, with rock star Mbappe meaning business, should fancy themselves.

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