Karim Benzema outdone compatriot Kylian Mbappe as his hat-trick helped Real Madrid comeback to beat PSG in the Champions League but he’s issued a message of support to the young forward
Karim Benzema has reassured Kylian Mbappe that time is on his side after PSG’s Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid.
The two Frenchman scored all five goals across the two-legs, but it was the veteran forward whose light shone brightest.
It leaves Mbappe and the French club licking their wounds as the 23-year-old’s future remains unclear.
His contract expires this summer and he has been heavily linked with a move to the Spanish capital as Los Blancos circle.
Mbappe’s focus had been on winning Europe’s biggest prize with PSG however and he did all he could – scoring the winner at the Parc des Princes before putting the Parisians ahead in Madrid.
Benzema’s second-half hat-trick turned the tie but speaking after the match he told RMC Sport: “Kylian was disappointed after the game, it’s normal – he wanted to shine as always. But he’s young, he has enough time to do it…”
The closest Mbappe has come in his short career was a final defeat back in 2020 and he was the subject of a mammoth bid from Madrid in the summer.
PSG were undone in the semi-final last year and now again in this last 16 clash, with their season now hinging on domestic honours.
Benzema’s first goal has left the French side fuming as they believe Gianluigi Donnarumma was fouled in the build up.
Mauricio Pochettino said: “Real’s first goal changed the match. I wonder what the VAR is doing because for me there is something else. It’s a shame, when you see the action – after that the match changed.”
The Argentine was also quizzed on the future of Mbappe, but refused to be drawn on speculation in the aftermath of the loss.
He claimed: “It’s simply impossible to discuss about it now, it’s not the right moment. We’re really disappointed tonight”.
Madrid meanwhile are elated as they seek a 14th European Cup success, which would further cement their status as the competition’s most successful team.
Los Blancos looked to be heading out when PSG were 1-0 up on the night, two goals ahead on aggregate, but Benzema insists the team were never prepared to give in.
He said: “I’m proud to be third best goalscorer in Real Madrid history but I won’t stop, I want to score again and again.
“Real Madrid are still alive and we’ll never give up. We’ve to say thanks to Real Madrid fans, they were special tonight”.
Carlo Ancelotti added: “The game changed after our first goal. The atmosphere has been the key.”