The English press salutes Riyad Mahrez and the historic qualification of Manchester City in the final of the Champions League while Spain watches for the consequences of the Parisian defeat on the future of Neymar and Mbappé.
This time, the press gets carried away. Rather shy before the match, the British media unanimously welcome Manchester City’s first qualification in the Champions League final on Wednesday morning.
>> Subscribe to RMC Sport offers to watch the Champions League
The Manchester Evening News is jubilant at the idea of joining Istanbul on May 29, after having ousted PSG in the semifinals. “We are going to Istanblue”, proclaims the newspaper, renaming the Turkish capital with the color of the Citizens’ jersey.
The Sky Blues’ victory does not appear in one of the national dailies but it is widely covered in their Sports section. The Daily Mail salutes the heroes (Hail the Heroes) and devotes five pages to the performance of Pep Guardiola’s men. “Pep’s men dance on the ice”, the daily image in reference to the hailstorm that hit the field before kick-off. “City’s strength is part of its beauty,” adds an article.
The Telegraph honors Riyad Mahrez, a great architect of the Mancunian qualification with three goals in two games, including a double on the return. The Algerian international turns into a superhero “Mah-Vels” in the national daily. The Guardian also praises the former Le Havre player.
“Mahrez, an underside genius”
“Elegant, merciless and always better, Mahrez is an underrated genius”, launches columnist Barney Ronan. “City’s long road to reaching the Champions League final hits its mark with a magical Mahrez,” reads the main article. The front page of the Sport booklet is more direct: “Next stop: Istanbul”.
In France, drunkenness gives way to disappointment. L’Equipe headlines its one in English: “The End”. The Parisian regrets “the end of a dream”. In Germany, where Bayern was knocked out by PSG in the previous round, Kicker also salutes Mahrez’s performance.
Spanish newspapers are less hiding their enthusiasm for two reasons. The first is the possibility of a reunion between Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid, who are playing their qualification this Wednesday evening on the Chelsea pitch (9 p.m., on RMC Sport). “Pep is waiting for you in Istanbul,” launches Marca, a Madrid daily, to Zidane players. The second is much more opportunistic since the newspapers are mainly interested in the consequences of the defeat of PSG on the future of Kylian Mbappé and Neymar.
The Catalan daily Sport does not take the tweezers: “Neymar outside”, he says. We must see a double message: the Brazilian is eliminated and could leave Paris, where his extension is however on track. But the Catalan newspaper sees the matter differently: “the Brazilian could decide to end his adventure in Paris after yet another European failure”. Mundo Deportivo also thinks of the Brazilian, the center of attention. For As, based in Madrid, the defeat against City makes PSG fear “the worst” in the cases of Neymar and especially Kylian Mbappé.