Can Les Parisiens go all the way?

Full of promise..

Despite their loss on the first day of the season, it promises to be an exciting 2011/12 season in the fashion city and French capital. The acquisition of 70% stake in the most prominent club in Paris by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) at the end of May has heralded a new beginning for PSG. The French side who were outsiders to Ligue 1 title last season finished fourth thereby narrowly missing out on the lucrative UCL. They also suffered another disappointment as league champions Lille defeated them in the French Cup final.

New Qatari owner Nasser al-Khelaifi retained Antonie Kambouare as head coach which comes as a surprise to me. However, Leonardo, the former AC Milan and Inter coach was subsequently appointed as the club’s sporting director with a wide range of power over all sporting activities in the club on a three-year deal. The former Brazil international had a spell during his playing days with PSG so he would be operating in a familiar environment.
Before Leo’s appointment, Kambouare with the backing of Nasser was already active in the transfer market. Striker Kévin Gameiro joined from Lorient while Nicolas Douchez arrived from Rennes.
Leonardo informed the media during his presentation of Les Parisiens new project.

He said

It all starts today. The transfer market is crazy.

I think the first thing is to speak with the coach – I haven’t had a chance yet. we’ll see which players want to stay and who wants to go. We’re not putting together a project to win the first game of the season, but to succeed in the long term. I need to take a good lok at where things stand and then, patiently, put this project together.


Experienced wide man Ludovic Giuly and erstwhile captain Claude Makelele who departed the club at the end of last season have been effectively replaced by two France internationals Jeremy Menez from AS Roma and Blaise Matuidi from Saint-Etienne. Mali midfielder Mohammed Sissoko also arrived from Juventus to join the PSG revolution. The former Valencia and Liverpool man who came through the youth ranks at Auxerre has an opportunity to strut his stuff in the Ligue 1 now. 24 years Palermo goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu has also put pen to paper. The two caps Italian goal tender’s capture is indicating the direction in which PSG is moving.

It looks like Leo has landed the big one with the confirmation of a deal for Javier Pastore right under the noses of English Premier league heavyweight, Chelsea.

Speaking at the press conference, Leonardo welcomed the arrival of the Argentina international.

Javier is a world class player, very important for us, we are very happy that he chose to continue his career in Paris after Palermo.

“He is a player who already understands what we are trying to do at PSG. Javier is a young and very talented player, like Menez, Matuidi, Sirigu and Gameiro. We are just carrying on with the direction the club has taken.”

The Argentine international will be joining Paris Saint-Germain in a record transfer of over €40 million. The arrival of the  Italy based footballer in Paris shows the transfer capabilities of PSG’s sporting director.

Just arrived.....One of many quality signings

I’m not sure if Les Parisiens have closed their cheque books for this transfer window, but the already acquired players on their roaster alongside the old players like Mamadou Sakho – the captain, Slyvain Armand, Mathieu Bodmer and Guillame Hoarau will have their fans and football enthusiasts alike buzzing as Ligue 1 kicked of last weekend. I’m particularly impressed with the acquisitions. They are young, talented players with a lot of character.

The French clasico (matches involving PSG and Olympique Marseille) this season and in the coming ones would be highly anticipated. Champions Lille OSC, title contenders, Olympique Lyon and Marseille have another re-energized old foe to contend with for the coveted league title come May 2012.
With all things being equal, PSG fans can start dreaming of their third league triumph even before the season starts and perhaps another European title in the Europa league campaign.

The French league this season will be set alive with so many gladiators ready to give football fans some spectacle as we welcome back the ever mouth-watering European league football!

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