Paris Saint-Germain is no longer a French club. It is a “Qatari one” that plays in the French Lihue 1. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I mean to disrespect the six times French Champions. I was sympathetic to them on a number of occasions, including during their epic Champions League clash with Barcelona last year, one that they should have won. In the second leg, it was the referee who granted Barca a very controversial penalty, for a contact made between a PSG player and Luis Suarez. This helped Barcelona a lot. Still, PSG have to blame themselves only for all the chances they have missed in this particular game. They could have easily scored 4 goals, rather than one.
Neymar was the one who inspired Barca to make a late comeback, to score 6 goals and to go pass by PSG. However, on that day the French club didn’t lack Neymar or any other major star player to help them win against the Catalans. They needed a tactical discipline, they needed to close the spaces and the top strikers they have in the likes of like Di Maria and Edinson Cavani to be more focused in front of the goal.
It was a team failure and a manager’s failure to reshape his team and to close the game. It wasn’t a failure due to lack of quality players in the PSG squad.
Having said that, I’d also say that the Neymar’s transfer doesn’t bring resolution to PSG’s issues on the pitch. His presence in the Brazil squad during the last World Cup clash against Germany could not have prevented the embarrassing 1:7 defeat. Whatever anyone might say about any of the greatest players and their influence on the pitch, football is a team game. Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez all together, weren’t able to prevent Juventus to beat Barca in the last year’s Champions League quater-final. Italians put a great team effort and restricted Barca to just few chances in both legs.
Neymar to increase the value of both PSG and Ligue 1
Neymar’s move to PSG will increase the commercial value of the club and the French Lihue 1, in particular. The £200 million spent will pay off. However, it would not bring Champions League title to Paris by itself. The money and players like Neymar would help a lot. However, it is the football structures and the sustainability that bring success.
Now with Neymar coming into the PSG squad, the first one who’d depart, rather sooner than laterr, would be the manager Unai Emery. He was the one who failed to put a team performance at Camp Nou last year and to take advantage of the comfortable 4:0 win, PSG recorded in Paris.
Neymar’s presence does not guarantee that during the next year’s Champions League, PSG would win against any team. Neymar himself is a huge talent, but he is a player who plays wide on the left. A team that was to win the Champions League would probably need another player of his calibre on the right flank. PSG have just bought influence, which is a lot, but the Champions League trophy is still miles away from Paris.
As far as for Barcelona, who have reluctantly sold Neymar, they have just got £200 million – money that could buy them the next three Neymar’s in South America. The Catalans would used them to revamp a team which is already past its best.