Where Next for Paris Saint-Germain and Neymar After Failure on Europe’s Biggest Stage?

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Sunday night was when those associated with Paris Saint-Germain hoped they would finally be given the respect they felt the club deserved. However, defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich made the wait go on. So after Les Parisiens spent mega money on Neymar to help achieve their European dream, what next for the Brazilian and for the club?

Where Next for Paris Saint-Germain After Champions League Disappointment?

How Can Les Parisiens Shake Farmers League Tag?

A win in the Champions League final, they hoped, would rid them of the tag that has become synonymous with French domestic football – ‘the farmers league,’ as some people suggest.

Now, it’s fair to say that both their arrival at Europe’s biggest match and Olympique Lyonnais’ surprise presence in the semi-finals should’ve helped kill off that tag once and for all.

However, the gritty, and not entirely pretty, 1-0 win that earnt Bayern Munich their sixth European title and PSG’s failure to be ruthless on the big stage, beg to differ.

Ultimately, PSG’s dominance of Ligue 1 for the past nine seasons – only missing out on the title once, to fellow big spenders AS Monaco – is not the obstacle preventing them joining Europe’s top table. It’s their lack of European glory.

Marseille remain the only French side to have held aloft the Coupe des Clubs Champions Européens. That triumph came all the way back in 1993.

Big Spenders Paris Saint-Germain Need the Silverware to Match

What’s more, this tag of playing in a farmers league is only compounded further by the Parisian side’s astronomical budget. Football website Goal estimated the price of this season’s squad at being over €700 million.

A league title is the bare minimum for a club spending so much; a credible Champions League challenge should be almost expected too.

It’s not just their critics that are demanding this success though, PSG’s Qatar owners also want silverware in return for the ridiculous figures they’ve pumped into the club since taking over in 2011.

Neymar Unable to Guide Paris Saint-Germain to European Glory

Their prize possession, the crown jewel of the club, Neymar, is likely to have been equally as distraught as the club’s owners by Sunday night’s result. The Brazilian, despite already having a Champions League winners medal on his mantelpiece from his time at Barcelona, was inconsolable.

At one point – as tears formed in the corners of his eyes – it looked like he wasn’t going to leave the substitutes’ bench to collect his medal. Just like the club itself, this too was Neymar’s big night.

The 28-year-old is considered by most to be in his prime years. No longer hiding behind the giant shadow of Lionel Messi at Barcelona; this was the night to show that he wasn’t just a great player but one that could single-handedly win his club trophies too.

But what about the world’s second-most expensive player, Kylian Mbappé – shouldn’t he be shouldering the responsibility too? In one sense, yes, because you don’t know when you may reach a Champions League final again but ultimately, the Frenchman has time on his side. Aged just 21, a Champions League trophy will enter his hands at some point without a doubt.

You also have to consider the reasons behind PSG signing both players. Of course, both bring with them ridiculous talent and commercial potential – an important attribute to a club like PSG.

But, whilst Neymar was bought to give the club immediate success on the continent; Mbappe is a player for the long-term success of PSG – the player to take over when Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo finally hang up their boots.

Champions League Even More Important Next Year

Next year’s Champions League will be even more important for the French side after coming so close this season. However, given the impact of the coronavirus on this year’s knockout rounds, it’s likely to be even more competitive too.

At this stage, UEFA will resort back to two-legged ties and of course, their rivals won’t be getting any worse. Bayern Munich will undoubtedly be favourites but then there’s Liverpool, Real Madrid and wherever Lionel Messi ends up too.

The task doesn’t really change for PSG next term. Neymar and Mbappé will need to turn their disappointment into motivation quickly; their season begins on September 10 with a trip to RC Lens. The Champions League group stage won’t get underway until late October.

But, by then, their eyes need to be fixed on next year’s final in Istanbul – the day they can finally banish the farmers league tag once and for all.

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