Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe says that he has had trouble sleeping since the club’s defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Mbappe, 20, failed to score as United came back from a 2-0 first-leg deficit to win 3-1 in Paris and advance on away goals.
Marcus Rashford netted a late penalty, awarded after a VAR review for handball by defender Presnel Kimpembe. And Mbappe says it has hit the squad hard.
“I am stunned — there are no words,” he told TF1’s Telefoot. “I have not been able to sleep and I think it has been the same for everybody else. It is difficult. We worked hard to reach that point and now we are out. We are disappointed. Football goes on. We will try to rally and finish the season.
“Honestly, it was our goal — we were working towards it each day. The supporters were with us too. The stadium was full, the fans did their job and got behind us — it was a truly magical atmosphere and we spoiled the party. We did not want to ruin it, but we did.”
“It is complicated, particularly after what happened, and there are many people who doubt us. However, I still believe in this project — I am sure we will do something good for the club with the fans’ support. I hope that they continue to get behind us. They have always been in the right. Now, we have to do some things.
“I think that, together, we can start to move in the right direction again and ask the right questions. I think that we can achieve something good in the future. We will keep working because that it is all that we can do. We will try to improve day after day, as when you get eliminated, you are missing something — you are not up to it. Now, we have to finish the season in the best way and prepare better for next year.”
Mbappe, who has been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Barcelona, insisted that his future had not changed despite PSG’s failure to get to the quarterfinals of the Champions League once again.
“Yes, I am sure to be here next season,” he added. “With or without what just happened, it was already set. With all of the problems that this elimination will cause, it is pointless adding my personal situation to that. This way, it is clear and accurate.”
Meanwhile, Kimpembe says complacency was to blame for the French champions’ shock defeat.
“My explanation is that we were very complacent after the first leg at Old Trafford. It was not the same PSG team,” he said on YouTube channel Bros. “We lost the aggressiveness and rage that had made the difference at Old Trafford. We were complacent and we took this game lightly.”
PSG became the first team in Europe’s elite club competition to be eliminated after winning 2-0 away in the opening leg. And it came two years after they were knocked out in the round of 16 by Barcelona after losing 6-1 at Camp Nou following a 4-0 home victory in the first leg.
Kimpembe said the defeat had been hard to take.
“It hurts, it hurts a lot,” he added. “I feel disappointment and rage, just like the fans I have a hard time swallowing it.”
Information from Reuters and PSG correspondent Jonathan Johnson was used in this report.