Kylian Mbappe is embracing the challenge of Barcelona going into the pair’s matchup in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. Mbappe is likely to leave the French club this summer. Therefore, the 2023/24 Champions League is his last chance to win the continental competition for PSG. The next step in that journey is against Barcelona, the club sitting second in La Liga.

Speaking to Telefoot, Mbappe said the great players show up in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League. He has exhibited as much when he scored a hat trick against Barcelona in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League at Camp Nou. Despite an up-and-down season from the Catalan club, Mbappe did not hold back when talking about his preparations to play Barcelona this week.

“It’s the time for great players,” Mbappe said about the UEFA Champions League. “I am ready, as always. I am not going to hide. Seeing the dynamic we have, I’m sure we’re going to give it our all, then the result… It’s in God’s hands.”

PSG has only ever advanced beyond the quarterfinals of the Champions League twice in its history. Those came in back-to-back seasons at the turn of the decade. In the 2019/20 campaign, PSG was the runner-up in the Champions League. In the following season, PSG fell to Manchester City in the semifinals of the competition. Mbappe played a key role in both those competitions. He scored 13 goals across those two competitions, but that figure has only improved since then.

Barcelona is in the way of Mbappe in the Champions League quarters

Kylian Mbappe has emerged as one of the great players in the world. Having been among the top scorers in each of the last five seasons in the UEFA Champions League, PSG’s success is largely a product of Mbappe’s output. When Mbappe does not do well, PSG does not do well. There have been instances of Mbappe succeeding, but PSG floundering. For example, the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie with Real Madrid saw Mbappe score in both legs. Still, the French club lost in stunning fashion to a Karim Benzema hat trick.

Now, Mbappe is ready to take PSG to the next step. In the current Champions League season, Barcelona is not among the favorites. Streaky runs of form will face a tough task against the Ligue 1 leaders. That poses an opportunity for Mbappe and PSG. This could be the side’s best chance to win the Champions League since it fell short against Bayern Munich in 2020.

The winner of the tie between PSG and Barcelona will face either Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund. Those are arguably the two weakest teams remaining in the Champions League, which in fairness does not say much, as both those clubs are strong sides. Yet, having Real Madrid, Manchester City, Arsenal and Bayern Munich reserved to one side of the eight-team bracket is a fortunate break for PSG.

If Mbappe can deliver like his recent remarks promise, he could close out his career with PSG by delivering a much-coveted continental trophy.