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Are PSG genuine contenders in the Champions League?

Paris Saint Germain is one of the leading clubs in Europe now. They have risen to prominence after they changed ownership in 2012 and have been mainstays in the Champions League ever since. PSG has purchased some excellent players for the past few years and has dominated domestically but are yet to taste the same success in European competition. However, PSG needs to win the UEFA Champions League to be counted among the elite clubs of world football. PSG has endured some torrid seasons in the Champions League and has never got past the quarter-finals in the champions league.

 

Reasons why PSG might win the Champions League

As a team, PSG possesses one of the best attacking players in world football. The team has an arsenal of goal threats in the shape of Neymar Jnr, Kylian Mbappe, Edson Cavani, Mauro Icardi, and Angel Di Maria. Very few clubs in the world have such a complete, talented and well-rounded players in their team. The combination of Neymar and Mbappe can be more than a handful for any defense in the world. In a football era that has seen the duo of Ronaldo and Messi dominating all the time, Neymar is the only player apart from those two to earn a Champions League top scorer award, after scoring ten goals in 2014-15 season. There is no doubt he is in pole position to take over from Ronaldo and Messi, who are both nearing in the twilight of their respective careers. Another player who has taken the world by storm is the youngster Mbappe who has been scoring goals for fun since bursting onto the scene a few years ago. It does not come as a surprise that the top clubs in Europe are after his signature. PSG is blessed with an abundance of phenomenal footballers simply because the Qatari owners funnel loads of cash into their club. The acquisition of Argentine forward Mauro Icardi from Inter Millan, Ander Herrera from Manchester United, Keylor Navas from Real Madrid, and Idrissa Gana Gueye from Everton has brought some squad depth in the team. Bringing in already established players this season shows they want to compete in Europe. If a player suffers an injury or drop in form, they have equally suitable replacements that can slot in. Another reason why PSG is favorite to lift this season’s Champions League is that  the traditional big Champions League clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich are all going through some rough patch this season,

Defending champions, Liverpool have also been knocked out by Atletico Madrid. In 2014-15 Barcelona knocked PSG out, whiles Real Madrid eliminated them in the 2017-18 season. This would bolster PSG chances of winning the Champions League. Although there are still some strong sides like Juventus, Man City, and Atletico Madrid in the fray, PSG is capable of beating them.

 

What PSG needs to fix to win the Champions League?

Despite recruiting big names and breaking transfer records, PSG has been eliminated at the first knockout stage in each of their last three campaigns, including that monumental collapse against Barcelona in the 2016-17 season. PSG was humiliated by Barcelona, losing 6-1 after winning the first leg by 4-0, and most recently in last season’s Champions League, they squandered a 2-0 aggregate lead at home to a vastly less experienced and out of form Man United team who were in tatters. If they can avoid individual errors and correct some of the mistakes they have done previously, PSG will have a solid chance at Champions League glory for the first time. With their experienced and robust squad, there is no doubt PSG are favorites to win the competition at the moment. PSG has bought an elite goalkeeper and a three-time Champions League winner Keylor Navas. He is an outstanding goalkeeper, and he hardly makes mistakes. He has seen it all before at the highest level, and regardless of how lethal your attacking force is or how good your defenders are, everyone knows having a world-class goalkeeper is a vital component to winning silverware. Although last season PSG had Gianluigi Buffon between the sticks, he is undoubtedly one of the best keepers we have ever seen and has experience galore. However, he is aging and has gone past his best. It was a good move from Thomas Tuchel to bring in Navas. Tuchel needs to work on the mentality and the psyche of his players and should also manage Neymar and Mbappe very well because they will need them as the competition progresses.

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