Mbappe, Messi or Ronaldo: What is the greatest Champions League performance?


Kylian Mbappe produced a sensational performance on Tuesday as he helped Paris Saint-Germain beat Barcelona 4-1 at the Camp Nou.

The 22-year-old scored a hat-trick in Lionel Messi’s backyard and had football fans - and ourselves - suggesting he had now surpassed the Argentine to become the best player in the world.

It was one of the greatest individual performance on Europe’s biggest stage.

But what has been the greatest Man of the Match display in the competition’s history?

Well, Spanish outlet Marca decided they would attempt to find out.

They picked out what they believe to be the 10 best individual performance in the competition’s history and asked fans to vote on which they think is the best.

Here are the results:

10 | Alessandro Del Piero (JUVENTUS vs Real Madrid)

Del Piero scored twice as Juventus went to the Bernabeu and won 2-0. His performance was so good that he earned a standing ovation from the Real Madrid fans. After the match, he said: “With the Bernabeu thing I said to myself: ‘Have these people got up and applauded me?’” Yes they had, Alessandro.

9 | Andriy Shevchenko (DYNAMO KIEV vs Barcelona)

Shevchenko did a Kylian Mbappe a year before the Frenchman was even born. Shevchenko was a year younger than Mbappe and as a 21-year-old turned up to the Camp Nou to score a first-half hat-trick and announce himself to the whole of Europe. He moved to AC Milan two years later.

8 | Gareth Bale (TOTTENHAM vs Inter Milan)

Bale is one of three players in this list who ended up on the losing side during their incredible performance. Spurs were 4-0 down at half-time and were enduring a humiliating night. That was until Bale scored three sensational - almost identical - goals in the second half as he tormented Maicon and Javier Zanetti.

7 | Neymar (BARCELONA vs Paris Saint-Germain)

It’s easy to forget just how good Neymar was during this match due to Sergi Roberto’s dramatic last-minute goal which sealed a 6-1 victory and progression to the quarter-finals. Barca lost 4-0 against PSG in the first-leg and, when Edinson Cavani scored a crucial away goal to make it 5-3 on aggregate, Barca needed another three. In fact, they still needed three goals with two minutes remaining. That was until Neymar scored a free-kick in the 88th-minute, a penalty in the 91st-minute and then produced a sensational assist for Roberto in the 95th-minute.

6 | Kylian Mbappe (PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN vs Barcelona)

The same fixture. A very different result.

5 | Kaka (AC MILAN vs Manchester United)

Back in 2007, Kaka’s performance at Old Trafford against Man Utd effectively sealed him the Ballon d’Or. Kaka’s Milan did lose 3-2 but they went on to win the competition, beating Sir Alex Ferguson’s side 3-0 in the second leg. Kaka scored twice in the defeat - to make it 2-1 and then 2-2. And his second was a delight. We’ll let him paint the picture:

“It’s one of the most beautiful goals I’ve scored in my career. I received in length of Dida, I beat Fletcher, I made a hat for Heinze, I touched perfectly with my head to avoid Evra, who crashed into Heinze, and then placed the ball inside the post. I don’t like to shoot hard.”


4 | Robert Lewandowski (BORUSSIA DORTMUND vs Real Madrid)

This performance was so good that it earned him an extremely rare 10/10 rating from L’Equipe. To be fair, he did score four superb goals during a 4-1 victory over Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid. Eight years on and he hasn’t stopped scoring.

3 | Ronaldo (REAL MADRID vs Manchester United)

Another player who ended up on the losing side on the night - although Real Madrid did progress on aggregate. His legendary hat-trick at Old Trafford ended him a standing ovation when he substituted off in the 67th-minute.

“I had scored many hat-tricks, but I was very surprised by the reaction of the Man Utd fans,” Ronaldo said after the game.

If only he had working knees...

2 | Cristiano Ronaldo (REAL MADRID vs Juventus)

Who can forget THAT overhead kick? The king of the Champions League scored twice - including that ridiculous goal - to help Real Madrid beat Juventus 3-0. The home fans stood and applauded the goal - a gesture that may well have persuaded Ronaldo to sign for Juventus a few months later.

1 | Lionel Messi (BARCELONA vs Arsenal)

Of course.

Back in 2010, Messi scored FOUR goals against Arsene Wenger’s side in the Champions League quarter-finals - the best performance in the competition’s history.

Arsenal had led 1-0 through Nicklaus Bentnder but that only served to spark Messi into action. Within 23, Messi had scored a hat-trick to put the tie beyond doubt.

He then rounded it off by nutmegging Manuel Almunia with a fourth in the second half.

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