Angel Di Maria soaked up the love and adoration of the Paris Saint-Germain faithful as his brilliant brace inspired a rampant 4-0 Champions League triumph over Barcelona.
PSG were knocked out of the competition by Barcelona in 2013 and 2015 but Luis Enrique's side now require a comeback unprecedented in Champions League history having been put to the sword in the French capital.
Di Maria, celebrating his 29th birthday, dispatched a free-kick that rewarded PSG's dominant start and Unai Emery's men never relinquished their grip on the first leg of the last-16 tie.
Former Sevilla boss Emery had only beaten Barcelona once in 23 previous attempts but he was well on his way to number two when Julian Draxler scored on his Champions League debut for PSG, as he did in Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France last month.
The visitors completely failed to regroup at the break and a sublime third from Di Maria's magical left foot was followed by Edinson Cavani's 32nd of the season in the 71st minute – capping a night of almost incomprehensible misery for their esteemed opponents.
Di Maria was to the fore in the early stages, setting up top scorer Cavani to have an attempt blocked by Barcelona full-back Sergi Roberto, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen demonstrated his sharp reactions and athleticism to save from Blaise Matuidi.
The hosts made their fast start tell in the 18th minute when, after Samuel Umtiti clattered through Draxler on the edge of the area, Di Maria whipped a fine free-kick beyond a disorganised wall to leave Ter Stegen with no chance.
Before the half-hour, Neymar shrugged off an earlier blow to his foot by gliding forward from his own half and playing in Andre Gomes, who forced Kevin Trapp to save with his feet.
Barcelona's first sustained spell of pressure only served to leave them vulnerable on the counter-attack - Germany winger Draxler skipping past Roberto to be denied by his compatriot Ter Stegen at the near post.
And Lionel Messi found himself in the unusual position of being to blame for an opposition goal five minutes before the interval.