There has only been one French Champions League winner in the history of the competition, Marseille, all the way back in 1993 when they beat AC Milan 1-0 in Munich. To put that into context, that’s the same amount of competition winners as Romania, Scotland and Serbia.
When the Qatar Sports Investments consortium took over PSG in the summer of 2011, they unveiled a strategy to take the Paris club to the top of domestic football, and to the pinnacle of Europe, by winning the coveted Champions League.
Since the Qatari takeover, the Parisians have never progressed further than the quarter finals. While their domestic dominance has been impressive, they are yet to attain the same level of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.
So why is this season different? Firstly, PSG had an excellent summer in the transfer market; the arrival of Di Maria added the star of Real Madrid’s La Decima campaign. Viewers are quick to forget just how good the Argentinean winger was for Real, following his disappointing stint in Manchester. The club also added the talented German keeper Kevin Trapp and Monaco sensation Layvin Kurzawa.
These additions have also helped to combat one of PSG’s main issues last season, their small squad. To succeed in Europe requires a squad that can react to key injuries and not unravel, an issue that Borussia Dortmund and Man City have recently experienced.
Betting tip sites, bookmakers and pundits seem reluctant to put PSG in contention with Barca, Real and Bayern Munich, but the Spanish giants are hardly displaying Champions League winning football so far this season. The biggest challenge the Paris will face is Pep Guardiola’s marauding Munich. Despite their rampant domestic form the German club have failed to dominate in the latter stages of Europe and could easily come unstuck against a tenacious PSG side.
With Zlatan entering the end of his time in Paris, and still missing a Champions League trophy, his determination will be greater than ever. Combine this with arguably the best PSG side ever and the team from the French capital are real contenders.