In addition to some affection from the Bernabéu, Kylian Mbappé received a small immersive lesson there on how much Real Madrid weighs. It was after 78 minutes, when Benzema had just made it 3-1, and suddenly all the players from the opposing team disappeared from the field. Courtois dropped to his knees at the foot of the north end, while at the other end, outfielders huddled around the corner flag. Mbappé grabbed the ball and took it to the center. He deposited her on the white dot and settled down to wait, hands on hips. Two minutes passed, which must have been very long for him. He awaited the end of the celebration, alone in the middle of a deserted wasteland, before the ball placed in the place that marks the defeat, while the stadium, unleashed, started with him: “So, so, so Madrid wins!” .
Courtois, Nacho, Dani Carvajal (Lucas Vázquez, min. 65), Eder Militao, Alaba, Kroos (Camavinga, min. 56), Federico Valverde, Modric, Vinicius Junior, Marco Asensio (Rodrygo, min. 56) and Benzema
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi (Draxler, min. 87), Marquinhos, Nuno Mendes, Kimpembe, Danilo Pereira (Di María, min. 80), Paredes (Idrissa Gueye, min. 70), Verratti, Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe
goals 0-1 min. 38: Kylian Mbappe. 1-1 min. 60: Benzema. 2-1 min. 75: Benzema. 3-1 min. 77: Benzema.
Referee Danny Makkelie
Yellow cards Paredes (min. 6), Nacho (min. 42), Vinicius Junior (min. 42), Dani Carvajal (min. 59), Gianluigi Donnarumma (min. 61), Achraf Hakimi (min. 80), Kimpembe (min. 80). 82) and Lucas Vázquez (min. 87)
Then, when the game resumed, he also had the opportunity to meet the “Kings of Europe, we are the kings of Europe!”. Although not all of his nocturnal experience in Chamartín had that tenor, because the Frenchman is in a very strange and ambivalent moment in which he represents the opposite of Gareth Bale for Real Madrid, a perfect, distant and intact promise to be applauded when the speaker he recites the line-ups and that the stands start to whistle when he runs with the ball. For Bale, back when he played, it happened the other way around: they whistled at him when the line-ups, and they started to cheer him when he approached the goal. But Mbappé has not yet disappointed, at least not definitively – Paris’s displeasure was temporary.
Before the start, with no players on the pitch, when the stadium announcer called his name, the crowd, who had been whistling for the previous players on the list, gave him a standing ovation. And he immediately let off steam by booing Neymar and, in a particularly intimate way, Messi, who has broken their illusion more times in recent years. The behavior of the stands did not fully follow the norm that relates fear to the intensity of the rumour. And also the other way around, the expectation of a happy moment with the murmur. This is how the legend tells that they measured the category of a winger in an English field. For the clap, clap, clap that spread through the stands as he moved down the sideline: the guy ran and people got up as he passed and the seats hit their backs, composing a kind of sound trail of a man’s run towards the goal. At PSG that is what Mbappé now carries, although in the prolegomena Real Madrid forgot it.
And not only the one who lives in the stands left him aside. When Vinicius found the Frenchman on the steps of the exit tunnel to the field, he went over to hug him, as in the first leg. Although it is true that the Brazilian was about to hug everyone. Afterwards he grabbed Neymar, and stayed chatting for a few moments with his teammate. And already on the grass, before kick-off, he crossed with his arms to the other field to have a love with Messi. One could also think of a ritual like that of the protagonist of the film Intact, a jinx hitman who entered casinos to cut people’s streak by putting his hand on them. But Vinicius seemed sincere, and with an exquisite palate: the most renowned trident in the world.
Flight and goal, and in the end consolation
Vini knows who to hug and Mbappé, who to hit. Almost on the first play, when Militão jumped to clear with his head, the Frenchman put his hip into him and threw him to the ground. Mbappé did not care about the applause and the carantoñas, also the local liturgies. When the stadium fulfilled the “Illa, illa, illa, Juanito Maravilla!” At minute seven, Neymar throws a ball into space, and he flies up to stand before Courtois, overwhelmed by Militão.
The first shot, the first stop of the Belgian. The second is also his, and Courtois also cleared it. The stands forget that initial courtesy, like a summer presentation day, and begin to react with whistles to the terror unleashed by the Frenchman. So much so that he immediately scores, although the VAR finds an offside. He did not care, shortly after, in another race, he returned to finish off the same place in Courtois’s goal, and that was the 0-1. Again the terror of Paris, prolonged in the second half, when he scored after a dribble with which he knocked Courtois down without touching the ball, Pelé-style, with the scent of Ronaldo Nazario. But that was also taken by the VAR, which also seemed to mark the end of the Parisian illusion.
The last hug that Mbappé received at the Bernabéu was given by Alaba to comfort him, while the Austrian was already on his way to the quarterfinals.
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