Soccer-Mbappe says winning Champions League a matter of pride


  • Football
  • Wednesday, 17 Apr 2024

Soccer Football - Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - FC Barcelona v Paris St Germain - Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Barcelona, Spain - April 16, 2024 Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe with teammates celebrate after the match REUTERS/Juan Medina

BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) - Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe said that helping his hometown club to finally win their first Champions League title is a matter of pride for him, after he scored twice to help guide his side to a 4-1 comeback win at Barcelona and into the semi-finals with a 6-4 aggregate victory on Tuesday.

Mbappe, who is set to leave PSG in the summer with Real Madrid as the biggest favourite to sign him, told reporters that his future is not in his mind and that his focus is totally on bringing glory to the French capital.

"I have the dream of winning the Champions League for Paris," Mbappe told reporters at Barcelona Olympic stadium on Tuesday.

"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 of the capital of my country, it's something special for me who grew up there.

"To experience an evening like this one as a Parisian, it's great. We have one more step to go before we reach the final in Wembley, so we need to stay calm."

After loosing 3-2 in the first leg in Paris, PSG fought-back down 1-0 at Barcelona after the locals went down to 10 men just before the half-hour when last man Ronald Araujo was red-carded for fouling Bradley Barcola.

Former Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele equalised for the visitors just before the break while Vitinha and Mbappe finished the job in the second half, with PSG facing Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals after the Germans beat Atletico Madrid.

Having failed to get past the round of 16 in the last two seasons and being pinned against the ropes by a Barca side who were in the ascendancy, PSG put on a gritty performance to make the most of the home side's mistakes and turn the tie around.

"We beat a great team this evening, but even if we had lost, I would be proud to be Parisian. Now it's certain that during evenings like this, the pride is even greater," Mbappe said.

"We are very happy, we beat a team that we wanted to beat and to be closer to the final. This one is for the fans that came here to support us and those back home. It's a night to be proud."

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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