Paris Saint-Germain Kylian Mbappe insisted he was proving a point to his coach, Thomas Tuchel after his stunning display against Club Brugge.
The French phenom was introduced from the bench in the Champions League clash in Belgium on Wednesday night with PSG holding a slender 1-0 advantage through Mauro Icardi’s first-half strike.
Mbappe, still only 20, duly produced a magnificent virtuoso performance that saw him overtake Messi as the youngest player to score 15 goals in the Champions League.
He bagged hat-trick in 21-minute and assisted Icardi’s second as the French champions ran out 5-0 winners.
That ensured the French champions have taken maximum points from their three group matches, scoring nine goals and conceding none in the process.
But Mbappe had cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines during the first period, before being called upon to replace Maxim Choupo-Moting in the second half.
Asked about being left out – with Tuchel having warned pre-game that Mbappe would not play 90 minutes – Mbappe claimed he believed he was going to be in the starting XI in Belgium, as he offered a somewhat pointed reply.
“It’s true that I wanted to start, I thought I was going to start,” he declared. “But the coach had made his choice and you have to accept that.
“[But] I wanted to show that it’s hard to do without me. I want to fight to keep my place and help the team.”
German boss Tuchel also left Edinson Cavani on the bench in Belgium, with Neymar also absent, both injured and completing a three-match suspension.