Kylian Mbappe says winning the Champions League is a matter of pride – ESPN – ESPN

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Kylian Mbappe says winning the Champions League is a matter of pride – ESPN – ESPN


Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé said helping his hometown club finally win their first Champions League title was a matter of pride for him, after scoring twice to help his side secure a 4-1 victory at Barcelona and qualify for the semi-finals. with a 6-4 aggregate victory on Tuesday.

Mbappe, who is expected to leave PSG this summer with Real Madrid the hot favorite to sign him, told reporters his future was not on his mind and he was entirely focused on bringing glory to the French capital.

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“I dream of winning the Champions League for Paris,” Mbappé told reporters on Tuesday at Barcelona’s Olympic stadium. “I’m proud to be at PSG since the first day. It’s not because there are good times and bad times that my pride takes a hit. The pride of playing for this club, of representing the club from the capital of my country, it’s something special for me who grew up there.

“To experience an evening like this as a Parisian is great. We still have one step to go before reaching the final at Wembley, so we have to stay calm.”

After losing 3-2 in the first leg in Paris, PSG fought back 1-0 at Barcelona after the home side went down to 10 men just before the half-hour mark, with final player Ronald Araújo shown a red card for a foul on Bradley Barcola.

Former Barcelona striker Ousmane Dembélé equalized for the visitors just before the break while Vitinha and Mbappe finished the job in the second half, with PSG set to face Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final after the Bundesliga beat Atletico Madrid.

Having failed to advance past the round of 16 in the last two seasons and being held on the ropes by a surging Barca side, PSG put in a dogged performance to make the most of the home side’s mistakes and turn the situation around. .

“We beat a great team tonight, but even if we had lost, I would be proud to be Parisian. Now, it’s certain that on evenings like this, the pride is even greater,” said Mbappé. “We are very happy, we beat a team we wanted to beat and get closer to the final. This one is for the fans who came here to support us and for those back home. It’s a night to be proud.”

Mbappe’s imminent departure from PSG at the end of the season has made for a tense season for the Ligue 1 champions – including manager Luis Enrique – but on a night when one of the world’s greatest players led his team in the semi-finals, those thoughts were secondary to the former Barcelona coach.

“Mbappé is undoubtedly the leader of the team today. Look at the pressure on the whole team,” Luis Enrique said after the match. “Kylian, Ous and Brad… hats off… that’s what we all have. When Kylian can do that, we’re much better.

“Throughout this season, the fans have been with us throughout, even in the beginning when we weren’t getting results. Seeing a team that works and fights, I think they feel that we are a team, whether we get better or worse results, but go for it from the start.”

Information from Reuters was used in this story.

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