On paper, PSG has no equal when it comes to starting a new Champions League campaign. The Parisians’ rivals on the European scene are nonetheless tough.
It is a paradox: it is not as a champion of France that the PSG – blown last season by the Losc – is preparing to attack the Champions League 2021-2022, and yet the capital club has never been so highly rated among contenders for the continental grail. The offseason it is true has been crazy in Paris, with two La Liga giants as rookies – Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos – a goalkeeper who was recently crowned European champion with Italy – Gianluigi Donnarumma – and a hardworking and versatile midfielder embodied by Georginio Wijnaldum. This without forgetting two beautiful reinforcements in side positions that were sorely lacking in choice: Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes.
It’s very simple, with such a built workforce when the two master assets of the club – Kylian Mbappé and Neymar – could be kept, PSG is indeed a scarecrow this season. All terrains combined. He is a former player and leader of the Barça, Carles Rexach, who says it in the pages of L’Equipe: “ Before, Paris recruited great players in early retirement, was an irregular team and we did not take it seriously. Today, he’s the favorite to win it all this season. They have amazing players in every position, a dream attack and no other team has their potential. Everyone, and me first, wants to watch PSG matches. »
A hell of a competition
Does that make PSG the favorite of the C1 for all that? Certainly if we observe the trajectory of the club flying the Qatari flag since 2011. Unhappy finalist in 2020 and semi-finalist last spring, Paris was able to learn from its failures and the turn of its summer transfer window – even in the firmness opposed to the offensives du Real – attests to this new maturity. There remains the glorious uncertainty of sport, which obviously did not announce the triumph of a Chelsea, for example, last season.
The 2022 vintage is rich, and does not lack spice. To achieve its ends, finally, PSG will have to deal with sacred competitors. Starting from the hens with a Manchester City which, like the Rouge et Bleu, has not yet had the expected return on investment on a European scale. The Blues, holders of the trophy, will not be neglected either – especially as they have strengthened themselves too. Same thing for a Atlético de Madrid who grazed the timpani several times without ever taking it down. And what about the sacred monsters that are the Bayern, Liverpool and the Real Madrid ? Opponents cut out for the win whose ranks will be enlarged during this edition by Manchester United. The other club whose transfer window turned to fireworks this summer …
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