Sport

PSG Up and Down

Published: 1. 1. 2021
Author: Karel Černý
Photo: Shutterstock.com
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Although its history has been shorter than that of many other clubs, its significance and successes, far exceeds many of them. We are talking the French, but also pan-European football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). Its history seems like constant ups and downs.

They celebrated the fiftieth birthday last August. The club was officially founded on 12th August 1970, by merging two clubs - Paris FC and Stade Saint-Germain. An interesting fact is that both original clubs were re-established in 1972 and still exist, although they perform in lower divisions.

Takeoff and dull average

The nine-time French champion has picked up a really fast pace since its founding. It took them only four years to make it to the top French flight, Ligue 1. That year, 1974, they also moved to the now famous address, Parc des Princes. They haven’t got relegated from the first league even once, although they were quite close to it twice, despite that they are a French record holder in this respect. In 1982 and 1983 they triumphed in the domestic cup and in 1986 they also won the first title of league champion. But then there was a retreat from fame and a fall, at best, to a dull average. This lasted until the end of the 1980s.

Recovery

The big recovery came in the last decade of the last century after the club was taken over by Canal + in 1991 and the team's budget was significantly increased. A year later, PSG made it to the semifinals of the UEFA Cup, in which they were eliminated by Juventus Turin, and in 1994 they won their second league title. In 1995/1996, they won the then UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, when they defeated Rapid Vienna 1: 0 in the final. A year later, on the contrary, they lost in the final with the same result with FC Barcelona. In 1996, they finished second in the UEFA Super Cup, after a "beating" from Italy's Juventus 1: 6 and 1: 3. And to top it off, the International Federation of Football Historians named them Team of the Year in 1994, and in 1998 they were at the top of the UEFA Coefficient Rankings.

Retreat and another recovery

Then the new millennium came and they retreated from the leading positions. Throughout the first decade, PSG was left without a domestic title and did not score on the international scene. After all, their winning summer Intertoto Cup in 2001 was barely any consolation. Following this, in 2011 turned up the new owner. Qatar Sports Investments, a Qatari company, that bought a majority stake in the club. And they started investing. In the very first years, it was the striker Zlatan Ibrahimović (currently playing for AC Milan), the pillar of defence Thiago Silva (he transferred from PSG last year as a free agent to London Chelsea) and star midfielder David Beckham (he ended his career at PSG in 2013). And in the following years, other star names shone on PSG jerseys - Edinson Cavani, David Luiz, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappé ... The result has been seven domestic titles in the last eight years! Only in 2017 did PSG finish second right behind the winning AS Monaco. They also came second in the Champions League, when in the finals of 2019/2020 PSG lost to Munich Bayern 0:1.

Today

Last year, the French league, like many others around the world, was put on hold by the covid pandemic. The year ended early, and PSG was announced the winner. Last Christmas, coach Thomas Tuchel was dismissed and replaced by former English Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino. These days PSG is currently at the top again, vying for the top place of the league with Lille and Lyon. And there may just be another stellar transition. It is no one else than Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who will become a free agent in the summer. So far, however, it is in the phase of talks and getting to know each other.

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