Mbappe performance not good enough to get him in French media’s exclusive club

Kylian Mbappe was good on Tuesday night wasn't he? Electric. Effervescent.

Just not exactly perfect.

At least that is in the eyes of the most respected sports publication in his homeland, L'Equipe, who have long been famed for their extremely tough player ratings.

Whereas other publications, including this one, would have thought nothing of giving Mbappe a 10/10 for his performance in scoring a hat-trick at the Nou Camp, for L'Equipe it was only a nine. Good, just not great.

And a nine is good, don't get us wrong.

Brilliant, in fact. Especially on the terms used by French media's strictest judges.

Just not quite a 10, is it?

But when you consider that L'Equipe have only ever given 11 players a 10/10 for a performance in their entire history then you can see that Mbappe was quite up against it here.

He was facing one of those players at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night, with Lionel Messi – just a 5 here – still the only man to ever get two 10/10s from the publication.

But who are the others to pick up that perfect score?

There are a few surprises.

Franck Sauzee and Bruno Martini – France U21s 3-0 Greece U21s (1988)

Perhaps a little giddily, L'Equipe went big when France won the Under-21 European Championships in 1988, with midfielder Sauzee and goalkeeper Martini the biggest standouts.

Eric Cantona was also in that France side, but Sauzee was the star, and he'd go on to have fine career in France before seeing out his playing days in Scotland with Hibernian, who he also managed.

This remains the only time L'Equipe gave out two 10s in the same game, and the only time they were ever dished out for a non-senior match.

Oleg Salenko – Russia 6-1 Cameroon (1994)

Six years after those two 10s, it took the scoring of five goals in a World Cup group stage game – still a record to this day – for someone to pick up the next one.

Journeyman forward Salenko had already netted against Sweden in the tournament, and would end it with the Golden Boot for his six strikes in total.

Amazingly, the future Rangers forward never scored for Russia again.

Lars Windfeld – Nantes 0-1 Aarhus (1997)

L'Equipe had a thing for keepers in the early days, but it wouldn't last.

Windfeld's perfect display for Danish side Aarhus earned them a shock first round UEFA Cup win at Nantes, who had been French champions two years earlier, early on in the 1997/98 season.

A clean sheet from the keeper and a goal from Liverpool flop Torben Piechnik – a regular in Reds' fans 'worst ever players' lists – secured a 3-2 aggregate win.

Windfeld remains the last goalkeeper to get a 10.

Lionel Messi – Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal (2010) & Barcelona 7-1 Bayer Leverkusen (2012)

L'Equipe handed out the perfect mark for the first time in 13 years when Messi destroyed Arsenal with four goals in a Champions League quarter-final in 2010.

And then when he went one better with five strikes against Leverkusen in a last-16 game two years later they didn't really have any choice but to do it again.

Robert Lewandowski – Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Real Madrid (2013)

Four goals in a Champions League semi-final is a good enough reason for a 10, and Lewandowski delivered for Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund side against a stunned Real Madrid in a Champions League semi-final in 2013.

They held on in the second leg, losing 2-0, before going on to lose to Bayern Munich in the final.

They would soon lose the Pole to them too.

Carlos Eduardo – Guingamp 2-7 Nice (2014)

Never heard of him? You're not alone.

The Brazilian on loan from Porto bagged five past future Huddersfield and Everton goalkeeper Jonas Lossl in a Ligue 1 game in 2014, but that would be the height of his career in Europe.

He joined Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia a year later, and is now at Shabab Al-Ahli in Dubai.

Neymar – Paris Saint-Germain 8-0 Dijon (2018)

The standout game of Neymar's first season in Paris, the Brazilian destroyed lowly Dijon with four goals and two assists in a stunning 8-0 win.

Ligue 1 hadn't seen the like of it before.

Well, not since Carlos Eduardo's day.

Dusan Tadic – Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax (2019)

He only scored once, and so it is a marker of how good ex-Southampton man Tadic was at Real Madrid back in March 2019 that he picked up a perfect 10 as the Bernabeu was stunned.

The Serbian dictated the play on a night when Real crumbled, and he became the first man to get a 10 who hadn't scored a shedload of goals since goalkeeper Windfeld back in 1997.

Lucas Moura – Ajax 2-3 Tottenham (2019)

Tottenham's Brazilian joined the list to take the perfect 10s into double figures when his staggering second half hat-trick in Amsterdam dragged Spurs over the line to reach the 2019 Champions League final against Liverpool.

The only player to ever get a perfect score while playing for an English club, Moura's feat has given Spurs pride of place on this list, until…

Serge Gnabry – Tottenham 2-7 Bayern Munich (2019)

Still the most recent display that got L'Equipe reaching for the double digits, former Arsenal man Gnabry left Spurs stunned with his four-goal haul as Mauricio Pochettino's reign began to unravel.

The new PSG boss would have been a lot happier watching Mbappe's display on Tuesday, even if it wasn't quite enough for France's harshest critics.

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