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2012 was the year Paris Saint-Germain laid down a marker on European football as they conquered France for the first time in 21 years. Large parts of this was down to the additions of elite names like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva and the marketbale figure of David Beckham.
But, this was just the start of the transfer business and the beginning of a monumental project. Fast forward six years, and the world’s most expensive signing, Neymar, makes the move from the gargantuan Barcelona to PSG, whilst Kylian Mbappe – the world’s most wanted forward – swapped Ligue 1 title-winners Monaco for Paris also.
Discover the exclusive double-interview with @KMbappe & @neymarjr🎙
“Big League and Champions League matches are special nights. The fans wants us to feel that these are evenings to achieve great things. ” pic.twitter.com/0CqOMPze6K
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) July 29, 2021
With this, the Champions League was expected. However, semi-finals and an agonisingly close final against Bayern Munich two seasons ago brought this billionaire project to a halt, and has left the football world wondering when exactly will they conquer Europe.
Now, however, might just be the perfect transfer window to catapult them towards Chelsea’s Champions League title. Why? Because they’ve bought sensibly for the first time in years. They haven’t just acquired an Ibrahimovic-esque player for goals or a Neymar wannabe for creativity and a potential Ballon d’Or trophy.
In fact, the club have cemented a seemingly perfect squad that accompanies the idea of winning the Champions League tremendously well. Such as the defensive superiority over the rest of the continent now, which may finally shine through with the addition of Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hakimi, who have five Champions Leagues together.
Ramos will finally add the Silva-esque nature to the backline that rocketed PSG to so many Ligue 1 titles and he might just be one of the greatest free transfers we have seen in recent times.
Add into the equation the addition of Georgino Wijnaldum, and the French giants have another Champions League winners medal amongst the squad, as well as proven talent in the Premier League over the past eight seasons, rather than a Ander Herrera, who boasted just a League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League with Manchester United before the move.
Then we have Gianluigi Donnarumma, who is fresh from winning the European Championships with Italy and having been named as the best player for the tournament, the Italian might have just pushed the excellent Keylor Navas out of the side. Either way, at 22 – just like Hakimi – PSG have built for the future once more.
This might be the first time we are talking about the Ligue 1 serial winners as a genuine squad. Not just about the importance of Mbappe or the excellence of Neymar. Now, we can finally start to discuss PSG as a squad that accustoms itself specifically for conquering Europe with a squad that now seems perfectly crafted from players one to 11.
Last pre-season game 🔜 #PSGSFC pic.twitter.com/gdGavM3yuU
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) July 27, 2021
Time will tell if this system becomes a blueprint for success or just another nail in the coffin of PSG’s European hopes. But right now, across Europe, they might just have the best team out there that is now looking more like a squad, rather than a glorified starting XI you see on Football Manager.