L’Equipe is well known for their scorning player ratings, holding particularly high standards in their match reports, so much so that only eight players had ever received a perfect 10 from the French publication.
However, that total was raised to nine on Wednesday night following the outstanding performance of Ajax midfielder Dusan Tadic at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night.
The former Southampton man was in inspired form, helping his team overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg in Amsterdam to win 4-1 on the night in Madrid, going through to the quarter-finals 5-3 on aggregate.
The 30-year-old contributed two assists and a stunning goal to help the team go 3-0 up after an hour in the Bernabeu, with it seeming as if he could do no wrong on the night. L’Equipe certainly agreed, grading him with the perfect mark while no other Ajax player dropped below a 7/10 on the night.
Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt was next on the list with a 9/10 rating, while Barcelona-bound Frenkie de Jong was awarded an 8/10 for his performance that saw him boss a midfield that contained Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro.
Madrid’s player ratings didn’t make for pretty reading, with no player rising above the mediocre mark of 4, a grade which only Ballon D’Or winner Modric and France’s Raphael Varane received. Casemiro was awarded a 1 for an ineffective display.
Tadic now joins a very exclusive club that features the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Robert Lewandowski in being the only players to have been ever awarded a 10 by L’Equipe, with Messi being the only player to ever do so twice.
The Serb said after the game: "This is probably the best game of football I've ever played. Zidane was always my favourite player. Maybe I was watching too many of his clips."
It was an incredible display from Tadic, as Ajax now head into the quarter-final draw on March 15 and won’t fear anybody after winning at the home of the winners of the Champions League in each of the last three seasons and four of the last five years.
The full list of L'Equipe's only 10/10 scores:
1. Sauzee (France v Greece, 1988)
2. Bruno Martini (France v Greece, 1988)
3. Oleg Salenko (Russia v Cameroon, 1994)
4. Lars Windfeld (Aarhus v Nantes, 1997)
5. Lionel Messi (Barcelona v Arsenal, 2010)
6. Lionel Messi (Barcelona v Bayer Leverkusen, 2012)
7. Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, 2013)
8. Carlos Eduardo (Nice v Guingamp, 2014)
9. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain v Dijon, 2018)
10. Dusan Tadic (Ajax v Real Madrid, 2019)