Paris St. Germain: Failed with Messi and Mbappé at Bayern Munich

Status: 09.03.2023 11:25 a.m

Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League trauma continues with the defeat against Bayern. Is it the end of the world selection strategy?

Qatari financiers have poured hundreds of millions of euros into the Paris Saint-Germain squad since 2011. Since then, the central goal has been to win the Champions League. And since then the club has failed early on with remarkable regularity.

This time, after the sobering 0-2 (first leg: 0-1) in the second leg against Bayern Munich, the round of 16 is the final destination – for the fifth time in the past eleven years. “Another European fiasco for Paris”, wrote “Le Figaro”. It was only in 2020 that PSG came very close to the long-awaited title under coach Thomas Tuchel, but also lost 1-0 to Bayern in the final.

Champions League record since 2012
Saison Round achieved Opponents (Results)



FC Barcelona (2:2, 1:1)



FC Chelsea (3:1, 0:2)



FC Barcelona (1:3, 0:2)



Manchester City (2:2, 0:1)


round of 16

FC Barcelona (4:0, 1:6)


round of 16

Real Madrid (1:3, 1:2)


round of 16

Manchester United (2:0, 1:3)



Bayern Munich (0:1)



Manchester City (1:2, 0:2)


round of 16

Real Madrid (1:0, 1:3)


round of 16

Bayern Munich (0:1, 0:2)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham are the first

The Qatari investors have managed to turn the average Ligue 1 club PSG into a dazzling brand, popular with the young target group. In this respect, the concept of the big names worked. Initially, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham were the driving forces, but Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé are currently forming a storm trio that sounds like a world selection.

However, the big sporting triumph is missing, the stars didn’t deliver against Bayern either. “Paris waited for the flames of Mbappé and Messi to turn the tide, but both geniuses stayed in their box,” wrote “L’Equipe”. Neymar was injured.

Winter World Cup and bad luck with injuries

Coach Christophe Galtier cited the Winter World Cup, where Messi and Mbappé faced each other in the final, as the reason for the failure: “It’s not the formation of the squad, it’s a season with a packed schedule.”

  • Ticker to read – FC Bayern Munich against Paris St. Germain
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  • round of 16
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There was also bad luck with injuries: Captain Marquinhos had to leave Bayern early, and Nordi Mukiele, who came on for him, was also injured afterwards. “serious“The failures were just on the defensive, said Galtier.

The problem with the superstars

Despite his arguments, Galtier will now face even more criticism than before. At the same time, the discussions about the squad and the overall strategy will continue. Too many stars that are too powerful and powerless coaches – this impression has haunted PSG for years.

France’s former international Emmanuel Petit put it this way to the “NZZ”: “How are the coaches supposed to deal with such stars on a day-to-day basis? The three strikers Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi and Neymar are the bosses, along with Sergio Ramos and Marco Verratti. You can’t give them any instructions. The PSG bosses only want big names and sell as many jerseys as possible all over the world. Far from forming a sworn unity for them.”

Kylian Mbappé avoids commitment to PSG

In any case, the project with the superstar trio seems to have failed. Messi’s contract expires in the summer and an extension is uncertain. Neymars could make a free transfer in 2025. And even PSG icon Kylian Mbappé avoids a clear commitment to the club.

When asked about staying in Paris, Mbappé evaded the defeat in Munich: “I’m relaxed about that. The only thing that counts for me this season is the championship. Then we’ll see.” Mbappé only signed a contract until 2025 in the summer.

Qatar offer for Manchester United

It’s possible that the days of superstars in Paris will soon be over anyway, because Qatar is reaching for new projects. A consortium led by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has submitted a bid to take over Manchester United.

Jassim belongs to the family of Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who owns Paris St Germain through QSI. Where would the family guide the superstars to in the future?

PSG talent shines elsewhere

Regardless of these speculations, a change of strategy seems conceivable: fewer superstars, but more of their own talents, which were and are definitely there.

Kingsley Coman, Christopher Nkunku, Moussa Diaby – these are just three examples of PSG youth players who have made careers elsewhere because they had little playing time in Paris. All three played in the Champions League this year – and at least one of the three, Bayern player Coman, made it further there than Messi and Co.