PSG’s Galactico Era
Ever since QIA invested in Paris Saint-Germain back in May 2011, they’ve been looking for the signing that would make the rest of Europe take notice of them, to send a message that PSG are ready for the Champions League. Alexandre Pato, Kaka, Carlos Tevez and David Beckham were all courted by the Qatari owners and Leonardo, but were never caught, due to the stigma of being a Ligue 1 club hanging round their neck. The stigma and myth around not being able to bring quality players ended this weekend. And how.
The money rolling in from the petrodollars has overseen a vast change in the landscape of European football, culminating in the rise of Anzhi, Man City, Chelsea and now PSG. The recent financial revelations regarding Malaga’s financial status could stop them from joining that list, but all have managed the marquee signing with the exception of PSG. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva change that.
The signings make PSG overwhelming favourites to clinch their 1st league title in 18 years, and Zlatan’s weekly wage, estimated at €300k a week, is enough to match the lower half of Ligue 1’s monthly outgoings on wages, and also a lot of his colleagues’ monthly wages.
Zlatan and Thiago will also bring a much needed spotlight to Ligue 1, which will also be helped by the fact that ESPN have picked up coverage of the league starting with this coming season; while most other continental leagues have been available to view, Ligue 1 has until now always remained in the darkness. All of this should also invigorate the city of Paris through emphasis on its one recognised football team, part of QIA’s reasoning for investing in the first place.
On the pitch, it’ll be exciting to see how Zlatan links with Javier Pastore and Ezequiel Lavezzi, but the abundance of attacking talent could spell the end for Kevin Gameiro, Péguy Luyindula and Guillaume Hoarau, while it also places question marks over the future of Mamadou Sakho & Jérémy Menez.
Check back next month for a season preview for all Ligue 1 clubs.