Kylian Mbappé trudges off after another Champions League dream with PSG ends


PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappé leaned forward with his head bowed and hands on his thighs.

Another Champions League dream with Paris Saint-Germain was over, ruined by the ruthless efficiency of a Borussia Dortmund team that stopped him scoring in both legs of their Champions League semifinal and recorded a 1-0 win in each.

“We always want to win at PSG, we feel sad,” Mbappé said after Tuesday’s defeat. “We should have scored. We had the chances to score (and) when you don’t, when you’re not efficient at both ends, it’s difficult to go through.”

PSG coach Luis Enrique consoled Mbappé, and then his star striker trudged off the field and toward a new destination next season.

Mbappé didn’t address questions about his future. Most observers expect his next club to be Real Madrid, which leads PSG 14-0 in European Cup trophies and could add a 15th should it get past Bayern Munich on Wednesday in the other semifinal.

Madrid has tried to lure Mbappé before.

In 2021, PSG turned down a bid of 180 million euros ($194 million) from Madrid for the 2018 World Cup-winning forward, who went on to sign a new contract with PSG — on which he didn’t take up the option for an extra year. Earlier this year he told PSG he’s leaving at the end of the season.

Seven years ago, he joined amid huge hype as the best young player in France and maybe the world.

PSG paid a fee of 170 million euros ($183 million) when Mbappé joined from Monaco in the summer of 2017 along with Neymar, who cost a world record 222 million ($239 million).

Others once on the list of PSG stars included Zlatan Ibrahimovic (156 goals for the club), Edinson Cavani (200 goals for PSG) and Lionel Messi (the men’s record eighth-time Ballon d’Or winner).

None could win the Champions League with PSG, despite huge investment and massive wages.

Mbappé had starred for Monaco as an 18-year-old sensation when it reached the semifinals of the Champions League — knocking out Dortmund along the way with three goals in the quarterfinals.

He accepted his share of the blame for not being able to reproduce his magic in front of goal, seven years later, as a global superstar with 46 goals for France and the scorer of a hat-trick in a men’s World Cup final to become the tournament’s top scorer two years ago.

“I tried to help my team the best I could. It wasn’t enough. When you’re talking about efficiency at both ends, I think I’m the first in question,” the 25-year-old said. “I’m the one who should score the goals and make the difference. I have no problem with that, the first person who should have scored tonight is me.”


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