May 28, 2024

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After a youthful turnaround with only one real star in the dressing room: Paris Saint-Germain faces a crucial test of the club's new philosophy

After a youthful turnaround with only one real star in the dressing room: Paris Saint-Germain faces a crucial test of the club's new philosophy

Stargazers have been feeling cheated in Paris since this season. Paris Saint-Germain has changed course after a failed experiment with Messi, Neymar and Mbappe. The end of the focus on the commercial side, and the start of long-term mathematical thinking. “Although the stars of tomorrow will soon have to win the Champions League to salvage that image,” says Ligue 1 expert Cyric Jeffray of the development in the French capital.

Ibrahimovic, Cavani, Di Maria, Mbappe, Neymar and even Messi.

There has been no shortage of stars in the French capital over the past decade. Millions of cents (oil) were sold to the biggest names. All in pursuit of one main goal: winning the Champions League.

What happened? On paper, Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi has not yet been able to bring the big-eared trophy to Paris. Because of the extinguished love between Kylian Mbappe – who already has one foot in Madrid – and the club, PSG had to change course.

“Now the only big star is coach Luis Enrique,” ​​Cyric Jeffray describes the transformation of Paris Saint-Germain.

Luis Enrique's hand

The endless career of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe is a thing of the past.

Luis Enrique has caused a mental reset in choosing Paris Saint-Germain. The Spanish selector is the boss and sets clear lines with a strict hand: everyone must work according to his own rotation system.

“Even a French star has to be content with temporary supporting roles,” says Jeffray. “This could be the biggest change of all: Enrique has real control over the dressing room.”

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Not clear in Paris. Just think about his predecessors Pochettino or Tuchel, who collapsed due to internal pressures.

The team is less vulnerable, because Enrique speaks with great passion and confidence in the dressing room.

Siric Jeffray

“Collectively, he has made the team stronger,” the French football commentator confirms.

“The team is also less vulnerable. As a result of a man who speaks with so much passion and confidence in his heart in the dressing room. The players are full of praise for him, despite the fact that he regularly gives him two goals.” Days off for something in between.”

Above all, there is clarity at Parc des Princes: those who want to ditch the shirt and follow the coach's plan will get their chance. Regardless of name, age or income.

Luis Enrique (right) and no one else – not even Mbappé – is in charge of the dressing room.

However, the Spaniard is not the only one who deserves recognition.

Luis Campos has changed transfer policy since his arrival in 2022. The Portuguese chancellor has carefully selected top growth stars from France, Portugal and Germany.

“All this is for the long-term project, because Enrique will have time to build. Although he was also lucky with the results in the group stage, which PSG narrowly escaped.”

Tomorrow's stars

But what if Kylian Mbappe closes the door behind him in Paris this summer? Then the club itself will launch the stars of tomorrow, the new philosophy.

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One of these is the product of youth and true Parisian Warren Zaire Emery (18). He has already extended his contract until 2029. “But make no mistake, he is still only 23,” says Jeffray.

“I remember the first time I saw him, when he won the European Under-17 Championship with France. He stood head and shoulders above everyone and walked away from everyone as if they were not there. He continued to play bold, youthful football.”

Paris Saint-Germain is benefiting heavily from the midfielder's background in marketing. Which is exactly why he is already mentioned as a future leader.

Sometimes Barcola reminds me of a young Thierry Henry.

Siric Jeffray

Then there's that other seasonal reveal that has the coach's full confidence.

Not long ago, Bradley Barkula was ready with his bags to end up in Switzerland anonymously. But Lyon gave him the opportunity to explode, and the competitor from the capital did not hesitate after that.

“When PSG paid 50 million, everyone kept thinking: This is a lot of money for an alternative,” says Jeffray. “But Enrique gave him a lot of chances, which paid off hugely against Barcelona.”

“Sometimes he reminds me of the young Thierry Henry at Monaco and with France in the 1998 World Cup. Thin, flexible and lightning fast,” concludes the expert. “This leads to great, carefree football.”

Enough arguments to keep tabs on the duo in Dortmund tonight, right?

Barkola and Zaire Emery are the future of Paris Saint-Germain.

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