Europe’s media lavished praise on PSG’s “hurricane” superstar Kylian Mbappe after a stunning Champions League hat-trick blew away Lionel Messi’s Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old’s goals in the round of 16 first-leg tie made him the first-ever player to score a hat-trick against Barcelona in the knockout stages of the elite competition.
French daily L’Equipe called the striker “atomic” and the team a “formidable collective force” which stopped the genius of Messi, who is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.
It called PSG’s stars “Galacticos” on its front page and said “it will be necessary to consider stopping football” if the Parisians do not qualify for the quarter-finals after securing a 4-1 first-leg lead.
Spain’s Madridista press, while hailing the young Frenchman, was more critical of the Barcelona performance.
Madrid daily AS did not hold back, saying Barcelona had seen in PSG “a mirror that reflects their image” of a team that now “terrorizes, subdues and destroys them”.
“Mbappe went through the Camp Nou and devastated it like a hurricane, with a historic display, one that will remain etched in memories forever,” wrote the Marca daily, also from Madrid.
Missing other top stars Neymar and Angel Di Maria, PSG were “led by an unstoppable Kylian and a colossal Veratti,” it said, calling Barcelona “light years away from the great dominators of the continent, once again humiliated in the Champions League.”
“Mbappe destroys Barca in the Nou Camp,” read the headline in Barcelona daily Mundo Deportivo.
“Barca remains very, very far from the level required for the Champions League,” it read.
The other Barcelona sports daily, Sport, said Barca were “pulverized by PSG” and Mbappe “has proven to be an uncontrollable giant”.