Who would have ever thought the mighty Barcelona would suffer such a catastrophic disaster at the hands of French champions, Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 fixture. The French outfit put up arguably their best performance in Europe on Tuesday night. Angel Di maria and Edinson Cavani stole the spotlight with some fantastic goals, but PSG has found a new hero the 21-year old defender, Presnel Kimpembe.
With captain Thiago Silva out injured, PSG turned to youngster Kimpembe to provide the necessary defensive reinforcement. The 21- year old who has made a few appearances for PSG in Ligue-1, was given his first start in the UEFA Champions League. A knockout tie in the biggest club competition in the world against the most dominant team in Europe with three of the most lethal forwards in World football, quite a daunting task for a young footballer making his debut. But Kimpembe displayed nerves of steel, putting up an assured performance at the back alongside center back partner Marquinhos. Barcelona’s front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez had no answer against the tough tackling and constant pressing from Kimpembe.
Born in Beaumont-sur-Oise, in northern France, the young defender has spent the entirety of his playing career in the French capital. He made his professional debut in 2014 against RC Lens in Ligue 1. The youngster was offered very limited opportunities under former boss Laurent Blanc and there were even rumours of him leaving PSG in search of first team football, after managing only six appearances during the 2015/2016 campaign. But fortunately, Kimpembe has been given more playing time under Unai Emery, the current head coach of PSG. The Frenchman has made 11 appearances so far this season for the Ligue 1 champions. After this outstanding display against Barcelona, Kimpembe has finally found his big break and will be hoping to cement his place in the starting 11. The young defender is naturally gifted and has all the qualities to become a World Class Center back for both club and country.