Kylian Mbappé says winning Champions League matter of pride

Paris Saint-Germain‘s Kylian Mbappé said that helping his hometown club to finally win their first Champions League title is a matter of pride for him, after he scored twice to help guide his side to a 4-1 comeback win at Barcelona and into the semifinals with a 6-4 aggregate victory on Tuesday.

Mbappé, who is set to leave PSG in the summer with Real Madrid as the biggest favourite to sign him, told reporters that his future is not on his mind and that his focus is totally on bringing glory to the French capital.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

“I have the dream of winning the Champions League for Paris,” Mbappé told reporters at the Barcelona Olympic stadium on Tuesday. “I’m proud to be at PSG since the first day. It’s not because there are good times and bad times that my pride takes a hit. The pride of playing for this club, of representing the club of the capital of my country, it’s something special for me who grew up there.

“To experience an evening like this one as a Parisian, it’s great. We have one more step to go before we reach the final in Wembley, so we need to stay calm.”

After losing 3-2 in the first leg in Paris, PSG fought-back down 1-0 at Barcelona after the locals went down to 10 men just before the half-hour as last man Ronald Araújo was red-carded for fouling Bradley Barcola.

Former Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembélé equalised for the visitors just before the break while Vitinha and Mbappe finished the job in the second half, with PSG set to face Borussia Dortmund in the semifinals after the Bundesliga side beat Atletico Madrid.

Having failed to get past the round of 16 in the last two seasons and being pinned against the ropes by a Barca side who were in the ascendancy, PSG put on a gritty performance to make the most of the home side’s mistakes and turn the tie around.

“We beat a great team this evening, but even if we had lost, I would be proud to be Parisian. Now it’s certain that during evenings like this, the pride is even greater,” Mbappé said. “We are very happy, we beat a team that we wanted to beat and to be closer to the final. This one is for the fans that came here to support us and those back home. It’s a night to be proud.”

Mbappé’s imminent departure from PSG in the close season has made for a tense season for the Ligue 1 champions — including manager Luis Enrique — but on a night when one of the world’s greatest players led his team to the semifinals those thoughts were secondary for the former Barcelona coach.

“Mbappé undisputable leader of team today. Look at the pressure on all the team,” Luis Enrique said after the match. “Kylian, Ous and Brad … chapeau … that is what we all have. When Kylian is capable of that, we are much much better.

“Throuhgout this season, fans been with us all along, even at the start when we were not getting results. Seeing a team that works and fights, I think they feel we are a team, results better or worse, but go for it from the start. So the relationship of the fans and team is a powerful, positive feeling. Now change chip. Being realistic in all competitions with options to go for everything.”

Information from Reuters was used in this story.