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What next for Mbappe after the latest PSG setback?

What next for Mbappe after the latest PSG setback?

For the better part of one hour on Wednesday night, Paris Saint Germain was miles ahead of their hosts Real MAdrid in the second leg Round of 16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu having led the first leg 1-0.

Lionel Messi, in a slightly withdrawn midfield role conducted the orchestra but it was Kylian Mbappe who was the star of the show, running through the Madrid defence like hot knife through butter.

Incidentally, Mbappe had to pass a late fitness test to play in the game after he took a stamp to the foot from Idrissa Gueye in a training session ahead of the trip to the Bernabeu but, once the game got under way, he became utterly unplayable, and could have easily racked up a hattrick if his efforts had been allowed to count.

First, Mbappe thought he had opened the scoring on the night when in the 34th minute when he found the back of the net with a brilliant finish, but referee Danny Makkelie from the Netherlands thought otherwise and struck off the goal after Nuno Mendes was adjudged offside in the build-up. Soon enough, he shrugged off the disappointment of the cancelled goal to score another, this time in the 39th minute when Neymar’s wonderful pass released Mbappe and the Frenchman popped up to sweep the ball into the net.

With a two-nil aggregate lead, Mbappe soon had the ball in the net for a third time in the 54th minute, but for the second time on the night he once again had his goal chalked off.

Although a second half super show by Karim Benzema turned the tie on its head and saw PSG kicked out of the Champions League on a 3-2 aggregate, but Mbappe had established himself as the king of Paris and re-enacted what he’s always done since his big money move to the Parc Des Princes five years ago. 

Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second league football match between Real Madrid CF and Paris Saint-Germain at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on March 9, 2022. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

In 2017, he signed on an initial loan which was eventually made permanent a year later for €180 million. Since then, he’s won three Ligue 1 titles, three Coupe de France titles, was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year twice, and has finished as Ligue 1 top scorer for three consecutive seasons. He is also the second-highest goalscorer in the club’s history. 

Yet, he’s just 23 and due to be out of contract at PSG this summer. He’s won everything but the Champions League, his best being a runner-up medal in 2020 after losing to Bayern Munich. 

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Wednesday’s loss was the latest setback in his quest for the Holy Grail and the choice before him is very simple: to sign an extension to his multi-million dollar contract or to move elsewhere, particularly to Real Madrid which has not hidden it’s interest in him.

With Madrid, his chances of winning the Champions League are significantly brighter, no? 

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