Unfulfilled Henkelpott longing
Paris St. Germain is playing for its own future
03/07/2023, 05:50 am
The superstars of Paris Saint-Germain bypass the strike in France. You yourself are faced with an eminently important labor dispute. One that could also influence the future. In a round of 16 knockout in Munich it should be very uncomfortable.
As if they didn’t have enough problems at Paris Saint-Germain. The preparation for the game that is so important for the star ensemble from the Seine in the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League at FC Bayern Munich is now also being influenced by the labor dispute in France. “In order to dribble around the strikes, the Parisians travel to Munich 48 hours before the match,” wrote “Le Parisien”.
So the team around the Argentinian world champion and renewed world footballer Lionel Messi and his French strike partner Kylian Mbappé started the journey to Bavaria on Monday – and not as usual on the day before the game, which will probably also have an impact on the further future of the by countless Qatar million-funded clubs should decide. Because the longing is called the Champions League. Another early end on Wednesday (9 p.m. on DAZN and in the live ticker on ntv.de) would be difficult for the Parisians and their very rich financiers from the past World Cup host country to digest.
Coach Galtier’s chair is already shaking
The previous ten titles in Ligue 1, which is not number 1 in the European ranking of the top leagues, are only accessories. Not getting him or failing in the cup competition at arch-rivals Olympique Marseille, as happened this year, also leaves its mark. Having to bury the dreams of the premier class triumph again early could have far-reaching consequences. The always shaky coaching position that Christophe Galtier has held since the summer should soon be up for discussion again.
A number of well-known coaches, including Carlo Ancelotti, who has been so successful elsewhere so often, but also Laurent Blanc, Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel, have failed in the plan to win the most coveted club trophy in Europe since Qatar Sports Investment got involved. Before the German coach won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021, he had only failed in the final with PSG the year before. Opponents back then: FC Bayern.
Hakimi questionable, Kimpembe missing for a long time
And now? Munich won the round of 16 first leg in Paris 1-0. Brazil’s Neymar will miss the second leg through injury, while Morocco international Achraf Hakimi’s availability remains to be seen after he has been targeted by French courts on suspicion of rape. French centre-back Presnel Kimpembe has been sidelined for months with a torn Achilles tendon. The former Leipzig Nordi Mukiele is questionable.
An end in the round of 16 would fuel other personnel issues. If he made his future dependent on the Champions League, he would be far away, Mbappé recently said with a laugh and a look at the game against Bayern. “Will the game have an impact on my future? I don’t think so,” said the “Prince du Parc” (“L’Equipe”), who comes to Munich as a PSG record scorer (201 goals).
“Should you really renew with Messi?”
But it is also clear that failure in the European master class would fuel speculation about Mbappé’s future – contract until summer 2024 with an option for another season. Likewise and especially that of Messi, whose working paper ends after this season. “Should they really sign up with Messi?” asked “Le Parisien” on a pro and con. Major League Soccer lures with David Beckham’s Inter Miami, FC Barcelona remains the heart club of the 35-year-old Argentine. And Neymar is always the object of wild speculation, the 31-year-old Brazilian’s contract is valid until the summer of 2025.
Neymar, Mbappé, Messi – and still looking for the big title. The fact that in such a phase, in addition to discord between players and sports director Luís Campos or headlines about a possible sale of smaller PSG shares, does not necessarily pacify the situation. Also not that there should be interest from Qatar in Manchester United. After all, it should not be about PSG owners QSI. And then the very rich club, headed by President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, also has trouble with the mayor of Paris. Anne Hidalgo absolutely does not want to sell the Prinzenpark Stadium to PSG. Are they investing money in new players at PSG? The match in Munich could show the way forward.