Are we losing our culture? PSG, Mbappe’s club, reflects on their latest Champions League setback
Paris Saint-Germain were certain that if they could convince Kylian Mbappe to stay, they would win the Champions League. However, the French superstar’s absence has led to another early European exit.
The Qatar-owned club was eliminated from the first round of the playoffs for the fifth time in seven years following their 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in Germany on Wednesday. This resulted in a 3-0 aggregate loss for the Qatar-owned club.
As a result of the Champions League being reduced to a mini-tournament behind closed doors during a pandemic-hit season, PSG’s run to the 2020 final now appears even more like an anomaly.
In May of last year, Mbappe signed a new three-year contract to stay in Paris with Lionel Messi and Neymar rather than join Real Madrid.
The formation of an exciting new team was supposed to follow the appointments of Portuguese super scout Luis Campos as head of recruitment and coach to replace Mauricio Pochettino.
It is difficult to argue that PSG are stronger with Vitinha and Fabian Ruiz than they were with Angel di Maria and Leandro Paredes a year ago.
“The squad’s construction is not the issue. It is only the season’s story. We were lacking key players. “Over the two legs, the squad was seriously weakened,” Galtier stated on Wednesday.
He was correct because Mbappe was only able to make a cameo appearance off the bench after suffering a thigh injury during PSG’s 1-0 loss to Bayern in the first leg. “This is our maximum,” he said.
Neymar is out with an injury to his ankle, Presnel Kimpembe is out, and fellow defenders Marquinhos and Nordi Mukiele both left the field during the game on Wednesday.
“This season has been extremely busy. The bodies of the players have been asked to do a lot. “Obviously, when you get to the last 16 it is good to have everyone available,” Galtier stated. “There was the World Cup.”
PSG hoped that Mbappe and Messi would turn the game around in Munich, but Mbappe had little impact and Messi only got 32 touches on the ball.
“We were going to do everything we could, as I said in my first Champions League press conference this season. “The truth is this is our maximum,” Mbappe acknowledged, whose own future will now once more be the subject of growing speculation.
Others are left to wonder why a club with PSG’s financial resources couldn’t build a strong enough team around Mbappe to compete despite injuries.
Former Paris Saint-Germain player David Ginola, now a Canal Plus analyst, commented, “If Paris Saint-Germain have dreams of winning the Champions League, they need to add players who are up to the needed quality.” Ginola was a member of the club.
“I believe they will attain the results they desire if they stop spending everything on one person. When are we going to talk about forming a team?”
– Is Messi leaving? –
Even with the wealth of their Qatari owners, PSG were unable to build the team they wanted. Money was one reason.
They were unable to acquire the central defender they so desperately required due to the high cost of Mbappe’s new contract and the necessity of adhering to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.
After this season, Messi no longer has a contract. There have been discussions about extending that contract; however, given that he will be 36 in June, it may be prudent to invest the necessary funds elsewhere.
The coach is aware that just winning Ligue 1 might not be enough to secure Galtier’s own future.
“We realise how crucial the Champions League is to PSG,” Galtier said.
There is a great deal of excitement. Is this a poor season even if we win the league? Our biggest regret is that we were unable to properly compete in this tie.
PSG would not have been able to overcome Bayern or win the Champions League at full strength.
Throughout their 11 seasons in the tournament under the Qatari rule, they have only won seven two-legged knockout matches.
“There is no evident reason why Paris Saint-Germain in 2023 would achieve competence with instances they haven’t mastered in a long time,” wrote Vincent Duluc in sports daily L’Equipe.