‘Great players come for a contract, average players continue to DIE here’: PSG flops – including ‘3/10’ Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe – are savaged in the French press (but one team-mate’s even worse!)
- Paris Saint-Germain were plunged back into crisis after defeat to Bayern Munich
- French newspaper L’Equipe were totally bemused by the team’s star players
- An attack featuring Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi was derided as ‘ordinary’
Paris Saint-Germain have been labelled an ‘ordinary’ side with ‘abysmal weaknesses’ where ‘average players continue to die’ as Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi found themselves savaged in L’Equipe’s infamous player ratings.
Having lost the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie 1-0 in Paris, the return against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night ended in a 2-0 defeat to condemn PSG to yet another dismal European exit.
French newspaper L’Equipe rarely pulls its punches – particularly when it comes to PSG – and they didn’t hold back following a below-par performance in Germany that proves PSG ‘haven’t really changed’.
‘At PSG, when it comes to the knockout stages of the Champions League, defeat is a culture,’ columnist Vincent Duluc fumed.
He goes on to accuse the French side of possessing a ‘fundamental inability to grow, continuing to offer stability to players who do not deserve it over time, like Marco Verratti,’ who was graded a 2/10 for his performance on Wednesday.
Lionel Messi (left) and Kylian Mbappe (right) have been savaged in L’Equipe’s player ratings
They say PSG, managed by Christophe Galtier, is ‘where average players continue to die’
‘PSG never really gave the impression of being able to reverse the result in Munich,’ another columnist added.
‘Messi and Mbappe were completely muzzled, and PSG have once again become an ordinary team, outclassed by Bayern Munich.’
Under Qatari ownership PSG have been desperate to win European football’s biggest prize and have paid huge sums to entice some of the best players in the world to the French capital.
But having not returned to the final since their last trip in 2020, Duluc sees no real rhyme or reason for the game’s biggest names to head for PSG.
‘There is no reason for the greatest players in the world to come to Paris for anything other than a better contract than elsewhere, and no reason, either, for the average players not to continue to die there,’ he said.
In a damning indictment he added: ‘At PSG, when the knockout stages of the Champions League come, defeat is a culture.’
L’Equipe’s notorious ratings are ruthless and it is considered a phenomenal achievement if a player is ever awarded full marks – a feat achieved by fewer than 20 players in the ratings’ history.
There were to be no such passing grades on a miserable evening in Bavaria with Messi and Mbappe graded a 3/10.
They noted that Mbappe was ‘feared’ by Bayern heading into the game but he ‘did not set fire as expected’ in a fierce battle with Dayot Upamecano.
Of the six duels between the pair, Mbappe lost them all.
Mbappe was expected to light up the last-16 second leg and yet he ended up with a 3/10 score
Team-mate Marco Verratti was given an even worse grade following a ‘nightmare’ performance
Of Messi, L’Equipe wrote: ‘[His performance] is too little and is very disappointing in a match of this importance. He was very disappointing.’
There was to be a player who scored even worse than Messi and Mbappe though, with Marco Verratti picking up just a 2/10.
‘Lots of energy, activity and availability in the first half,’ his verdict read, ‘before completely sinking.
‘His risk-taking in front of his own area brought the first Bayern goal (61st minute). It was again he who lost the ball on the goal of (Serge) Gnabry (89th). A nightmare.’
Neymar missed out through injury and while the Brazilian has many critics, columnist Damien Degorre believes there is no credible argument to say this PSG team is ‘better’ without him.
‘If the team is better balanced without Neymar, it is certainly not better without him,’ he wrote.
‘Mbappé, who was not against the idea of the Brazilian leaving last summer, would not have been against receiving one or two good balls from him on Wednesday. They didn’t come from Lionel Messi anyway.’
Marks of 8/10 for Upamecano and Leon Goretza markeed stark contrast but attention is on PSG and what the future holds with doubts surrounding whether Messi, Mbappe and Neymar will be at the club next season, as well as manager Christophe Galtier.
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