Coach Ronald Koeman said Barcelona was not ready yet to win the biggest trophies while Paris Saint-Germain showed them on Tuesday the way to go .
Footballer Kylian Mbappe ran riot at Camp Nou, his hat-trick signing off one of the greatest invididual performances of the Champions League era ever since and elevating his status to arguably the most dangerous football player in the globe.
However, the 22-year-old outshone Lionel Messi, even if snap comparisons are perhaps unfair on the Argentinian, given the mismatch in the teams each had behind them.
This was not a race contest between the dou players a failure on Messi’s part that his Barcelona side were overrun, outclassed, and ultimately , a 4-1 defeat putting Paris Saint German on the endge within sight of the quarter-finals.
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It was a reality check for Koeman’s Barca, a brutal assessment of where they are in their recovery and measuring of the distance still to be covered before they can rejoin Europe’s guru
In his word Koeman said
“I know where we are, “We have to change but we are not at the end of this road, we are halfway through.”
The problem for Koeman was not the result, which many had expected before Neymar’s injury and a string of encouraging displays in La Liga raised false hope.
While interviewing with Movistar television after the macth, De Jong struggled to find the words. “I don’t know, there is one leg left,” he said. “It will be very difficult, we all know that, but we will try.”
Barcelona is eight behind Atletico Madrid in the league, trailpoints 2-0 to Sevilla in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey and now have a mountain to climb in Paris.
Some sort of crescendo may be needed. If PSG cannot be caught in the second leg, Koeman cannot afford humiliation. Not everything can be put down to transition.
Koeman further stresses his displeasant feeling :
“I am not sad,” said Koeman. “It is a path that we are trying to go down and it’s not the end of this path yet. It seems I am more realistic than others.” Others may not be as patient either.