Since their take over in 2011, Paris Saint-Germain has been in the forever pursuit of the Champions League. With infinite money in their pockets, the club has established its dominance in France. But they haven’t quite replicated that in Europe.
Now, winning the league has become a mundane task for them. A boring chore that no longer fascinates them.
With top-class athletes on their roster and collaborations with Nike to make PSG the most fashionable club in the world, has been their assets.
Yet they have failed to conquer Europe’s ultimate football fantasy – the Champions League.
A year before they appointed Mauricio Pochettino, the club from Paris had Thomas Tuchel at the helm. With him, they reached the closest they have to winning the Champions League, they reached the finals of the tournament but lost to the eventual winners Bayern Munich.
Due to clashes with the PSG board, Tuchel was sacked 4-months into the 20/21 season.
The man to replace him, none other than the Tottenham man – Mauricio Pochettino.
Let’s take a look at Mauricio Pochettino’s tenure in the city of lights, which has been a little over a year, and talk about it!
What he won (20/21)
Pochettino is a fantastic manager; he may not have won anything with Tottenham, but nonetheless, he did a fantastic job with the north London club operating on a limited budget.
Now with PSG and ultimate financial freedom, he had a superstar team at his disposal.
Pochettino won two trophies in his first season with Paris. Both of them were cup tournaments. He won the Coupe de France which is like the FA Cup, and the Trophée des Champions which is the same as the community shield of England.
The Champions League Run and Ligue 1 disappointment!
Paris who was the runners up of the Champions League the year before was marked as one of the favorites to win the competition. Paris won its group and qualified for the round of 16.
They defeated Barcelona comfortably and were lined up to face Bayern Munich, again. They did get their revenge on them, winning on away goals after the aggregate read 3-3.
In the semi-finals they faced Pep’s Manchester City to whom, they eventually lost.
A semi-final finish for Pochettino’s PSG.
Yet again their pursuit for Europe’s biggest prize, unfulfilled.
In what was an insult to injury, Paris also failed to win the Ligue 1. Before this season, Paris had been crowned champions of France 7 times out of 8 in the last 8 seasons. Paris finished 2 behind the champions Lille.
Pochettino was criticized.
The Transfer Window of dreams
It would be an underrated statement to say that Paris had a great transfer window. Paris signed the Inter full-back Achraf Hakimi for a 60 million fee. Then they signed Sergio Ramos, Gini Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma as free agents.
And the transfer that broke the internet, PSG signed Lionel Messi from Barcelona, without paying them a single cent.
With a team that you would normally get only on video games, the expectations of winning every trophy are high on Pochettino for this season.
21/22 season so far
Pochettino has already lost the French Cup (Coupe de France) to Nice in the round of 16.
After this upset, there were rumors of him being sacked as the PSG manager, and if wants to avoid that he will have to satisfy PSG’s ultimate hunger – The Champions League trophy.
Pochettino and his men are well-positioned to win Ligue one but that would not be enough to satisfy the owners. It seems that Pochettino can only feel safe on his job if he delivers the Champions League trophy. With a squad like that he has all the chances of making that a reality.
Can Pochettino give what the capital city has been aching for? Or will PSG sack yet another manager to seek the ultimate glory in Europe from a different middle man.
Only time will tell!