Dean Mouhtaropoulos | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
Marquinhos of Paris Saint-Germain #5 celebrates with team mates as he scores their first goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Bayer Leverkusen at Parc des Princes on March 12, 2014
French champions PSG are planning another attack in pursuit of Europe’s premier cup competition. Despite substantial investment from the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), PSG has only managed one Champions League semi-final appearance — in 1995, well before Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s millions came to Paris and three years before forward Kylian Mbappe was born.
The PSG squad boasts the world’s two most expensive players. Mbappe’s transfer fee of €135 million ($158 million) from Monaco was made permanent earlier this summer, a figure only topped by the €222 million PSG paid for Neymar a year earlier.
Since 2011, when QIA took ownership of the club, Al-Khelaifi has paid out more than €1 billion on players, winning France’s Ligue 1 domestic title in five of those seven seasons. While almost peerless in its own country, PSG’s struggles are clear in Europe, where it exited the Champions League at the last 16 stage in both 2016 and 2017.
Thomas Tuchel is the latest head coach charged with bringing trophies to Paris. Ahead of PSG’s meeting with Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday, he played down the notion that his job was dependent on winning the Champions League.
“No-one has told me this, in all the talks, that I have to win this otherwise I didn’t do my job right,” he said. “If we judge ourselves only by the biggest goal in European football, the possibility of a big disappointment is high. Why should we do this?”