To advance past Real Sociedad in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, Paris Saint-Germain needs Kylian Mbappé to show greater effectiveness than he has demonstrated in the 2023-24 season during the competition.
Mbappé didn’t deliver a standout performance, carrying PSG to a crucial victory when they needed it the most, whether facing AC Milan on the road, hosting Newcastle United at home, or taking on Borussia Dortmund away from the Parc des Princes.
Has Kylian Mbappé lost his aura?
Nonetheless, PSG did qualify for the knockout stage, finishing second in the “Group of Death” behind Dortmund. Still, French football pundit Eric Rabesandratana believes that the 25-year-old has lost his aura in the Champions League, which explains the lack of quality performances.
“So, he is very effective in Ligue 1, but in the Champions League, he lost a little of his aura and effectiveness,” Rabesandratana said on France Bleu Paris (h/t Canal Supporters). “His journey in the Champions League was almost transparent. I’m exaggerating a little, but it’s not very far. Why is it less effective in the Champions League? I don’t know. It has news that is also important. We are currently filming a report on him, a bit like Neymar and all these players who are a bit unusual.
“So, maybe it disturbs him and prevents him from remaining 100 percent focused on football. So, he remains the technical leader of this team, but he has lost a little of this efficiency. He rose very quickly and was so capable of doing extraordinary things that we are obviously very demanding of him.
“Still, the fact remains that he no longer has his aura in this team and his effectiveness in front of goal. I would also like him to rediscover his simplicity and make us dream again because he is an extraordinary player capable of extraterrestrial things. I think he just needs to refocus on football.”
With no Lionel Messi or Neymar Jr., all eyes are on Mbappé to see if he can lead PSG on a deep run in the competition. The capital club will welcome Real Sociedad to the Parc des Princes on Valentine’s Day.