After the Paris Saint-Germain star torched Barcelona on Tuesday for a hat-trick, Antoine Griezmann was full of praise for Kylian Mbappe, comparing him to idols Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
In a 4-1 rout at Camp Nou, Mbappe shot three of PSG’s four goals, all but ending Barca’s Champions League hopes in the round of 16.
Mbappe became just the third player to score a Champions League hat-trick against Barcelona with his three goals, following Newcastle’s Faustino Asprilla and Dynamo Kyiv’s Andriy Shevchenko.
“I am happy for him. He’s been criticized a lot, but that’s what happens when, for a little bit, you’re somebody.
We criticize him as soon as he performs even less well. It’s fairly simple. But I believe PSG has a potential star, one who’s going to be at Leo and Cristiano’s level. He had a fantastic match.
The first goal of the last-16 first leg was registered by Barcelona, with Messi opening the scoring from the penalty spot.
From there, though, it was all Mbappe and PSG, despite the absence of Neymar due to injury, with Barca unable to cope with the French star.’
Mbappe went regularly past the likes of Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, and Sergino Dest, who were frequently revealed by the Parisian star.
Barca will now face an uphill struggle as a result, having endured another humiliation in the Champions League knockout rounds following last season’s 8-2 loss at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Greizmann, frustrated, said that Barcelona was preparing to take part in the second leg, which will take place on 10 March at the Parc des Princes.
After the match, Griezmann said, “We needed to have a perfect match. We didn’t and they did. It’s a big defeat,”
We were ready, we wanted to play a big game, but there was nothing to tell, they were better than us.
“Kylian had a wonderful night. There is a return match after this. To win and turn the situation around, we’ll have to go there. We will not go there as visitors.
PSG is currently second in Ligue 1, one point behind Lille’s league-leaders in 25 games.
Mbappe, who has scored 21 goals this season in 29 games, will lead PSG on Saturday to a clash with fourth-place Monaco in a match that could help determine the title of Ligue 1.