The Brutal French Media Reaction To PSG's Latest Champions League Failure
For all of us spinning loosely in a void, unsure of the meaning of our lives, it is time to throw a few jealous glances in the direction of Graeme Souness who last night was given validation of life a pundit. PSG's pompously lazy drew some glorious Souness ire on TV3, the highlight his branding Angel Di Maria as a "cadet".
Souness does not own the patent on harsh criticism of PSG, however. Perhaps unsurprising - for a team made almost entirely of oil, it doesn't take much of a spark to set it all ablaze.
The French media have hammered their champions-elect, with the famously harsh player ratings in L'Equipe particularly damning. Marco Veratti, sent off during the second-half at 1-0 down, got a 2. Dani Alves, Adrien Rabiot and the aforementioned "cadet" all got a 3, as did Edison Cavani. Substitute Javier Pastore did not get a rating, which is good for him, as the paper may have been forced to plunge into minus figures for the first time.
Here they are in full.
— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) March 6, 2018
The front page of L'Equipe screamed, "Tout Ca, Pour Ca!", meaning All that, for this!
Elsewhere, Le Monde ripped into PSG. They described this being an annus horribilis, in spite of the procession to the Ligue Un title.
But it is clear that the expenses and the very ambitious strategy of QSI have not borne much fruit on the sporting level. With this fiasco against Real Madrid, PSG gives the impression of stalling. His image is tarnished by this status of eternal loser. "It does not call into question our investment strategy. We believe in our players. We want to continue our project, " said Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, who will have to find this summer a successor to Unai Emery.
They were equally unkind to Marco Veratti.
The players and leaders of PSG have highlighted the cultural chasm that separates them from Real Madrid, a real machine to win titles. The lack of experience of the Parisians was embodied by the Italian Marco Verratti, 25, sent off absurdly, at the hour of play, for protest. An expulsion that has permanently stifled the last hints of a PSG comeback.
They make an important point regarding the future, too. If PSG are to avoid a sanction under the rules of Financial Fair Play, they need to generate €75 million in revenue by June 30th. Failure to qualify for the quarter-finals cost them at least €13 million, and the windfalls for going further in the competiton are even greater. Expect a few 'glamour' post-season friendlies, although they might struggle to get their frontline players to feature in these game given the staging of the World Cup.
Incredibly, talk after the game from PSG was how they can convince Neymar Ltd to stay. Marquinhos told the world that he has asked him to stay. If he doesn't, the PSG petroproject would be humiliated.
And who would want to see that?