Lionel Messi News: Mbappe ban could see Barcelona captain win European Golden Boot
What's the story?
Paris Saint Germain's 20-year-old French forward Kylian Mbappe is looking at a long ban following his red card against Rennes on Sunday in the French Cup final. This could effectively mean that Barcelona ace Lionel Messi will get a clear path to the European Golden Boot title this season.
In case you didn't know...
Paris Saint Germain were upset by Rennes in last Sunday's French Cup final, losing on penalties to the side that finished 11th in the Ligue 1.
Although Thomas Tuchel's men easily won the Ligue 1 title, their ouster from the Champions League, and now this French Cup debacle, puts immense pressure on Neymar and co to deliver next season. Kylian Mbappe has shouldered the goalscoring burden in the long injury absence of star man Neymar, netting 30 goals in Ligue 1.
Ernesto Valverde's Barcelona, on the other hand, are well on course for a historic treble of trebles. They wrapped up the LaLiga title last weekend with a 1-0 win over Levante, and have also reached the final of the Copa del Rey.
The heart of the matter
With the game evenly poised at 2-2, Mbappe was given a straight red card in the 118th minute, for a rash challenge on Rennes defender Damien da Silva. PSG went on to lost the penalty shootout 6-5 to miss out on a domestic double.
Lionel Messi leads the European Golden Boot race with 34 goals (68 points), followed by Kylian Mbappe with 30 goals (60 points) and Atalanta's Fabio Quagliarella with 23 goals (46 points).
Cristiano Ronaldo is a distant 12th in the standings with only 20 goals (40 points). With Mbappe likely to get a ban covering most of the 5 games left for PSG in Ligue 1, Messi looks poised to finish with his 6th European Golden Boot of his career.
Barcelona face off against Liverpool at the Nou Camp in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, on Thursday, at 12:30 AM IST. PSG take on Montpellier away from home in the Ligue 1 tonight at 10:30 IST.