Almost Muted Celebrations For PSG; What Next For the French Giants?

Winning the league title should be a source of joy and wild celebrations, especially in one of the top leagues in the world. That was not the case with PSG this weekend as they wrapped up their 10th French Ligue 1 title after a 1-1 draw with Lens.

The fans had expected more this season, going by the club’s heavy investment in the playing unit at the start of the season. By more, it meant bringing the UEFA Champions League trophy to the Parc des Princes, but what they got instead, on that front, was a Round of 16 exit at the hands of Real Madrid despite leading the tie 2-0 at some point.

Moves to bring in Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos, Lionel Messi, and Georginio Wijnaldum clearly pointed in one direction – a desire to dominate Europe. The fact that all these were players at a high level meant winning the Champions League was one of the conditions.

For the better part of the campaign, especially in the Champions League, PSG enjoyed favorable odds and previews on the Wincomparator website even ahead of their return leg clash with Real Madrid in the Round of 16, in which Kylian Mbappe gave them the lead-in. Their collapse was however shocking and it hasn’t been business as usual, even with the dominance in Ligue 1.

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Brazilian star Neymar had a torrid time in the Lens game, with boos directed at him from the fans and he didn’t make it better by reminding them that he still has three years left on his contract. Lionel Messi scored a great goal but it did little to liven the fans, and it got even damper with Lens getting the equalizer.

Kylian Mbappe, the player jeered at the start of the season as reports of him favoring a move to Real Madrid emerged, has been their most important and consistent player. Despite everything, he may leave the club for free this summer, after PSG declined to do business with Real Madrid in August. The jeers at the start of the season turned to cheers towards the end of the season, indicating just how volatile the PSG fans can be.

Crazy as it may sound, one of the stars that may want to leave PSG is Lionel Messi. The Argentine hasn’t had the magical rub at the team that was expected, but that is if we decide to ignore the assists he has had in the season even though with Neymar and Mbappe in the same team anyone would be expected to get many assists. Messi has scored nine goals all season and registered 13 assists. He was supposed to be the man leading the team to European glory but in the aftermath of the Real Madrid loss, he was booed.

The biggest question going into the coming season will be on Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine’s performance at the club has come under sharp scrutiny, worsened by the fact that the man he replaced went on and straight away won the Champions League with Chelsea, a season after guiding PSG to the Champions League final. With the firepower in his possession, Pochettino was expected to go beyond winning the Ligue 1, and after struggling in the Champions League for two seasons now, PSG may just be asking if he is indeed the right man.