Mbappe, Ronaldo and the pursuit of Champions League glory

Arsh Asthana/Dubai
Filed on August 18, 2021
Cristiano Ronaldo hugs Kylian Mbappe after a Champions League match. (AFP file)

Mbappe will look to sign off with an elusive Champions League trophy in Paris

Ending days of intense speculation, Paris Saint-Germain’s star striker Kylian Mbappe has finally broken his silence and assured the club fans that he will not be leaving Paris for Real Madrid this season.

The World Cup-winning French striker told the club authorities that he would stay in Paris for one more season. It was indeed a big relief for the PSG fans.

Earlier, Mbappe had turned down an offer to renew his PSG contract which would expire in 2022.

Mbappe could still make his dream move to Madrid next year on a free transfer. But until that happens, the PSG fans will have the luxury of watching Mbappe join hands with new teammate Lionel Messi and Neymar to form a deadly partnership upfront.

PSG fans have already got a glimpse of things to come with Messi scoring a delightful goal after Mbappe had set him up in training on Tuesday.

Had Mbappe opted to leave PSG for Madrid this summer, the Paris club, according to reports, would have tried to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus.

But the 22-year-old Mbappe’s decision to stay on at PSG would rob fans of a chance to see two of the greatest players in history – Messi and Ronaldo – in the same team.

The complicated way in which clubs operate in transfer windows came to the fore again when Real Madrid reportedly made an attempt to bring Ronaldo back to Santiago Bernabeu following their failure to sign Mbappe.

But Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti quickly dismissed the media reports, saying the Spanish giants would be no reunion with the legendary Portuguese striker.

“Cristiano is a Real Madrid legend and he has all my love and respect,” Ancelotti said. “I have never considered signing him. We are looking toward the future.”

Ronaldo’s Juventus contract expires next year. So the former Manchester United striker will be desperate to win his first Champions League title with the Italian giants.

A Champions League triumph with Juventus will make Ronaldo only the second player after Clarence Seedorf to win the premier European club event with three different clubs.

Mbappe, on the other hand, will look to sign off with an elusive Champions League trophy in Paris with the support from Cristiano Ronaldo’s greatest rival – Lionel Messi.

PSG, after all, have spent millions of dollars with the sole aim of winning the Champions League.

The summer transfer window is still open, but Mbappe and Ronaldo look set to continue their pursuit of European glory with their respective clubs.

And the neutrals would be dying for the start of the new season of the greatest club competition in the world.

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