Paris Saint Germain or PSG is a professional French football club based in Paris. PSG is the most successful club in the French football history and is only French club to win any major European tournament except Marseille.
PSG plays at Parc des Princes in the south-west of Paris. The club’s logo has a red silhouette of the Eiffel Tower and white royal cradle of Louis XIV below the Eiffel Tower symbol on a blue background with white edging.
How was it born?
Unlike other European clubs, PSG is relatively a young club. The club was founded in 1970 after a group of businessman decided to merge two clubs Paris FC and State Saint-Germain into a single club Paris Saint-Germain. With the French capital having no representative in domestic leagues, PSG immediately managed to get a lot of attraction in Paris.
The arrangement remained for only two seasons before Paris FC separated from PSG. Paris FC remained in the top tier while PSG slipped to third-tier. PSG immediately bounced back winning two consecutive promotions and returned to the top-tier in 1974. After the club got promoted to the top-tier, it shifted its home to Parc des Princes. However, PSG failed to leave any significant mark in the second half of 1970s, only finishing in the mid-table.
With the beginning of a new decade, PSG’s fortune changed as the Paris-based club won its maiden trophy by defeating AS Saint-Étienne on penalties in a nerve-wrecking French Cup final in 1981-82. In the next season, PSG replicated the same feat by defeating FC Nantes in the final.
With PSG gradually flexing muscles at the domestic circuit, it finally broke the deadlock of winning Ligue 1 in the 1985-86 season. However, they could not maintain their performance at the European competitions as they failed to go beyond the quarter-final stage in the 80s.
Financial Crisis in the 1990s and Rejuvenation
At the start of the 1990s, PSG suffered a massive blow as their chairman Francis Borelli left the club while the club was buried under a debt of 51 million Francs. Later, French television channel Canal+ bought PSG while the municipality of Paris under PSG supporter and would be French president Jacques Chirac provided an annual subsidy of 30 million Francs.
With turmoil coming to an end and the owners investing money to buy new players, PSG won two French Cups in 1992-93 and 1994-95 along with winning the Ligue 1 title in 1994. The domestic success was followed by a European trophy when PSG defeated Rapid Wien by 1-0 in the 1996 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final. In next season, PSG succumbed to a humiliating 6-1 defeat at their home in the first leg of the UEFA Super Cup final in January 1997. It is their biggest home defeat in all European competitions till now.
However, PSG failed to win any Ligue 1 title further before the turn of the century while it bagged another French Cup title in the 1997-98 season along with two French League Cup in the 1994-95 and 1997-98 season. It also lifted French Super Cup twice in 1995-96 and 1998-99.
PSG already establishing a force to reckon in the European football, lost the plot in the new century. Poor management and choking under pressure did not help PSG to lift Ligue 1 title in the first decade of the 2000s. However, PSG's affair with French Cup continued as PSG won three titles until. They won it in 2003-04,2005-06,2009-10. Actually, these were the only three trophies that PSG lifted in ten years except winning a French League Cup in 2007-08.
PSG was marred with hooliganism during the period. PSG fans broke into a violent clash with Marseille fans in the 2009-10 season.
Rise to Glory
PSG was suffering huge losses under the previous owners during 2000s. The Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) bought 70 percent share of the French club and Nasser al-Khelaifi became the club's new president. Following which, PSG became the richest club of France. On the field, PSG has bagged all the French Cup titles since 2014-15 and lifted five consecutive French League Chup titles since 2013-14.
With the new owners investing money into the team, PSG's fortune tweaked. PSG notched up several top players including Zlatan Ibrahimović, David Beckham, Thiago Silva, Ezequiel Lavezzi in the 2012-13 season. A year later, Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani joined the club.
The inclusion of top players helped PSG to change its fortune in Ligue 1 as the club lifted the title after a gap of 39 years in the 2012-13 season. With that, PSG's complete domination began in French football with the club winning four consecutive Ligue 1 titles until 2015-16. PSG bagged all the French Cup titles since 2014-15 and lifted five consecutive French League Chup titles since 2013-14. PSG also won five consecutive French Super Cup titles.
However, the club’s extraordinary success did not continue in the European competitions as the star-studded club could not go beyond quarter-finals till the 2017-18 season. After qualifying to UEFA Champions League in the 2012-13 season, PSG crashed out of the competition losing in the quarter-final stage in the next four years. PSG bought a range of players Julian Draxler, Thomas Meunier, Ángel Di María, David Luiz during the period, but it missed the firepower it needed to win the UCL trophy.
In the 2016-17, PSG almost secured a semi-final berth in the UCL after defeating Barcelona 4-0 at the PSG’s home in the first leg. But in the second leg in March 2017, the Spanish club pulled out a miracle as they beat PSG 6-1 to restrict the French club achieving their dream. It was their biggest away defeat in the UEFA Club competition.
In a bid to win the UCL, PSG signed Neymar for a world-record transfer fee of £200 million. Neymar signed a five-year contract with the club with a basic salary of £26.8 million per million excluding tax. PSG took another French youngster Kylian Mbappé at £166 million who had been a revolution of the 2016-17 season for another French side Monaco.
With Neymar and Mbappé at the upfront and presence of players like Di María, Thomas Meunier, Adrien Rabiot, PSG was expected to break the quarter-final shackle in the UCL. They started the campaign really well winning all five matches out of six group league matches. Their only defeat came against Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena in December 2017. They hammered past Celtic by 7-1 and 5-0 in two legs while defeating Bayern Munich at their home by 3-0 in September 2017.
However, their star-studded team lost its path in the very next round. The French side lost both legs against Real Madrid in the rounds of 16 clash. With Neymar getting injured in the first leg, it was a tough task for the side to overturn a 3-1 away defeat in the second leg in March 2018.
PSG has won seven Ligue 1 titles, 12 French Cup, eight French League and seven French Super Cup titles so far.