PSG management look to break up squad clans during Japan pre-season tour

L’Équipe have compiled a report of Paris Saint-Germain’s ten-day pre-season tour of Japan, in what was a period of team-building under a new manager just as it was a strategically important marketing operation.

The 130-person delegation were first housed in two hotels in Osaka, close to the locations where they would be undertaking sponsorship commitments and play their games, while they also initially spent time in Tokyo at the Ritz-Carlton.

Over the week and a half, the Ligue 1 champions played three games – a tight 2-1 win over Kawasaki Frontale, a 3-0 win over Urawa Reds, and finally a 6-2 demolition of Gamba Osaka.

Among the initial commitments was a lengthy ceremony at the latter hotel, where Christophe Galtier and his players were toasted by several people with a Champagne brand which was sponsoring the event. Overall, the organisers shelled out €10m and paid all of the club’s costs. Despite the difficult weather conditions – high humidity – and the jet lag, the players ostensibly enjoyed the cultural experience, as explained by the captain Marquinhos – “We would like to thank our opponents and the Japanese public, who welcomed us with a lot of warmth and positive energy”.

The number of sponsorship events initially scheduled for the tour was cut in half by the club’s new management, even if several commitments were still kept. These included an advertising campaign for “Discover Tokyo” which saw Neymar, Gianluigi Donnarumma,  Leandro Paredes, Danilo Pereira and Arnaud Kalimuendo discover the city’s landmarks. A judo demonstration, which included French Olympic champion Teddy Riner, also took place.

PSG’s new management also sought to break up the clans that had formed in the squad previously, with players being mixed up in different groups as much as possible. For Christophe Galtier, it was a chance to observe how the dressing room dynamics worked. Instead of undertaking one-to-one interviews, the former Nice man instead informal pitchside discussions with his players.

GFFN

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