In the third game of the preseason, after going to Hamburg and playing Espanyol in the Catalonia Supercup, Tito Vilanova’s side will be meeting three former FCB players. Maxwell and Thiago Motta are already part of the PSG squad, and the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic makes this friendly fixture even more enticing than ever.
There’s a new challenger on the international club scene. The Parisians have invested heavily on a series of new players this summer, with Nasser Al-Khelaifi determined to turn the club into one capable of competing with the European football superpowers.
Hard times before rebirth
After several years in which the historic French giant diced with relegation, only narrowly escaping the drop in both 2006/07 and 2007/08, the arrival of Qatari wealth in 2011 has put PSG back in contention not just in France but in Europe too. With new economic clout, the side from the French capital is ready to add to its collection of two League titles, plus three League Cups, eight French Cups and one Cup Winners Cup.
In the summer of 2011, some fairly big names headed to the club, including Uruguay’s Lugano, Mohamed Sissoko, Blaise Matuidi and Jérémy Ménez, as well as the promising Javier Pastore signed for 43 million euros from Palermo. But the side managed by Antoine Kombouaré went out early in all three major cup competitions: little Dijon ended their League Cup challenge, they crashed out to Lyon in the French Cup, and failed to get any further than the group stages of the Europa League.
Two ‘rossoneri’ head new challenge
The addition of Leonardo as director of sport was one of the first decisions made by the Qatar Investment Authority. The former Milan player and coach, given the way the team had started the season, proposed his friend Carlo Ancelotti as a replacement manager, which injected new prestige into the Parisian project. Even so, Montpellier eventually won Ligue 1 on the final day.
But PSG have been busy this summer. Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has already announced that Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva are being sold to PSG. The Swedish striker and Brazilian defender are set to make a huge impact on Ancelotti’s squad, for although there are still a few minor details to be cleared up before the deal is official, all the parties seem happy with the arrangement. It all gives the Parc des Princes faithful plenty to feel excited about, with attendances already on the rise since the massive Qatari project started.