It may be all doom and gloom in the PSG camp at the moment, and that is not helped by the final being held just down the road. However, by the summer, the fans will have dusted themselves down, and will once again be looking forward to a successful domestic campaign – and, hopefully, at long last to a successful European one as well. So, what has gone wrong for them in the past during the biggest club competition in Europe? And crucially, what do they need to do to make it worth their fans’ while to use their free bets and offers on PSG and see them finally break their Champions League curse?
Let us not forget, PSG are not alone in their plight. Manchester City are similarly waiting for their first success in the trophy despite – like PSG – knocking on the door in recent years. Also, like PSG, Guardiola’s City looked like they were through against Real Madrid (very much the same as Chelsea), before an unlikely and gut-wrenchingly dramatic fightback from the Spanish outfit saw them dumped out of the competition. Putting Chelsea to one side, who, though the current holders, are having their own issues at the moment in terms of their owners and short-term future, that comparison with Manchester City is a valid one. Both have tasted considerable success domestically and have undoubtedly some of the best players in the world. They also have one of the best managers in the game, though Pochettino is yet to win a Champions League. The difference between Man City and PSG is that a domestic title in England is held in far higher esteem than in France.
Despite their domestic success, the clubs both have a fragility when it comes to getting over the line when the pressure is at its greatest, and against a team that has been there and done it so many times at that level. As soon as the questions start to be raised in the minds of the players, insecurities grow; the fact that they have been in that position again and again magnifies their fragility, in exactly the same way it strengthens the resolve and belief of the Real Madrid players and fans.
PSG will go into the summer window with a list of players they think will push them one step closer to European glory. They have the star names, but what they do not have are the gritty leaders, and the players who want to win at all costs, win dirty, win ugly. That may not be popular initially and will mean a change in mentality to a certain extent, but it is exactly what is needed. It is what Real Madrid do, despite their star players. So, to answer the question, will PSG ever win the Champions League? Yes, but they need to start that process this summer and be less concerned with the names on the back of the shirts, and more worried about what is in between their ears.