Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has heaped praises on the club’s physios for helping him to recover quickly from an ankle injury in time for the side’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash against Atalanta. He came on as a sub to set up a dramatic winner for the Ligue 1 giants.
PSG were almost out of the competition yet again in the quarter-final stage as Serie A outfit Atalanta led 1 nil for most of the game through a goal by Mario Pasalic.
However, a late resurgence in the closing stages of the game resulted in an equalizer by Marquinhos before Eric Chupo-Moting scored the winner through an assist by Mbappe.
Mbappe was thrilled with his comeback to action after the ankle injury he suffered in the French Cup final against St Etienne in July. At the time, Tuchel admitted that the Frenchman needed a miracle to be fit in time for the game against Atalanta.
Mbappe started the game on the bench and was introduced in the 60th minute as PSG puffed and puffed. His introduction was key to the turnaround and the player expressed his delight on social media after the game, thanking the team’s medical staff.
‘You don’t talk to me about pain,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘A big thank you to the medical staff for getting me back on my feet, no one believed it except us.
‘Congratulations to the whole group, we want to get this one.’
The 21-year-old Frenchman has enjoyed another brilliant season for PSG although the season was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. He scored 30 goals in all competitions for PSG this season including 18 goals in Ligue 1.
His performance on the night amazed BT Sport pundits Glenn Hoddle and Rio Ferdinand who pointed out that Neymar alone wouldn’t have been enough to secure the much-needed win.
‘Mbappe was the one who changed it – Neymar needed him,’ Hoddle said.
‘Neymar’s cutting edge wasn’t there but it’s the run off the ball, no one was making the movement [before Mbappe came on]. Mbappe was so sharp.’