Carlo Ancelotti says Kylian Mbappe is the ‘BEST player in European football’ after his moment of magic gives PSG a first-leg advantage over Real Madrid… with the beaten boss insisting Los Blancos’ transfer target is ‘UNSTOPPABLE’
Kylian Mbappe is ‘unstoppable’ and is the best player in Europe, believes Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.
Mbappe is widely expected to swap Paris for Madrid in the summer when his contract expires but he was all-in with PSG on Tuesday as his 94th-minute winner gave the French giants a slender first leg advantage in the last-16 of the Champions League.
The 23-year-old feasted down PSG’s left side and he capped off a brilliant display with a goal in the final seconds to leave a defeated Ancelotti in awe of his talents.
Kylian Mbappe provided the moment of magic as PSG defeated Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti believes Mbappe is currently the best player in all of Europe
‘Mbappe is the best player in European football,’ Ancelotti said.
‘Mbappe is unstoppable, we have tried to control him. Militao has done very well, but he is a player who always invents something.’
Real Madrid remained defensively resolute for 93 minutes, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois even saving a Lionel Messi penalty, but in the end they return to Spain with work to do in the second leg on March 9.
‘We didn’t play well but we are not dead yet,’ Ancelotti added.
‘We need to press more in the second leg. We are behind on the scoreboard and need to be better on the ball, which we didn’t do well today.
‘We couldn’t get out with the ball and we misplaced a lot of passes because of their high press. They did that well and put us under difficulty in that sense.’
Mbappe’s 94th-minute winner sealed the game and Ancelotti says the striker is ‘unstoppable’
Mbappe gave an interview in Spanish at the final whistle in which he was quizzed on whether his match-winning display was due to wanting to impress Real Madrid, his expected next employers.
‘I’ve not decided my future,’ he told Movistar. ‘I play for Paris Saint-Germain, one of the best clubs in the world.
‘This game to influence my future? No – I’ve not decided, I give my best and then we will see what happens next season.’
Real Madrid saw two bids for Mbappe rejected last summer, the second as high as £154million, but they are expected to pick up their top target on a free when his deal expires in June.
Mbappe added to French station Canal+: ‘How to ignore the (transfer) context? It’s easy, you have to play football.
‘We ask too many questions, we say too many things. We talk about PSG and Real, two big clubs. I’m a PSG player, I’m always very happy.
His goal sparked wild celebrations at the Parc des Princes as PSG hold a 1-0 lead in last-16 tie
Tuesday night at the Parc des Princes was the tale of the strikers and while Messi missed his penalty and Mbappe got the winning goal, it was a much more chastening evening for the returning Karim Benzema, who was restored to Madrid’s line-up following two games out.
Benzema struggled to have any influence on the game but Ancelotti insisted that that had nothing to do with his injury and was instead down to the performance of the team.
‘Benzema’s problem (on the night) was not physical,’ the Italian continued.
‘I changed him five minutes from the end, the balls that we wanted did not reach him.
‘It cost us a good game, something that we usually don’t have much of a problem with, pressing high , but tonight it didn’t work out.
‘I’m optimistic for the second leg, we have to do better than PSG did at home.’