Paris Saint-Germain were a struggling mid-table club long before the takeover by Qatar-based Qatari Sports Investment. Despite moderate success until the mid-2000s, the club had been struggling under mismanagement since the turn of the century. The Colony Capital takeover in 2006 steadied the ship, but they struggled to find any consistency. The results remained the same until QSI took over ownership in 2011 and turned the fortunes around for the French giants.
Fast-forward to the present day and, not many can imagine a Paris Saint-Germain squad without a world-class talent. That said, here is how the squad looked before the Qatari takeover in 2011.
Note: Loris Arnaud, Adama Traore, Florian Makhedjouf, Loick Landre, Yacine Qasmi and Jean-Christophe Bahebeck have been excluded as they were fringe players in the squad. Mateja Kezman and Younasse Sankhare have not been added as they were not part of the 2010/11 campaign.
How Paris Saint-Germain Looked Before the Qatari Takeover
Arriving on a free transfer from Rapid Bucuresti in 2008, Apoula Edu was PSG’s second-choice goalkeeper before establishing himself as the number one in 2009. The Armenia international did not have the best of times at PSG. Blunders regularly affected his game and Edu left the club at the end of the 2010/11 season after making 68 appearances.
The seven-time Ligue 1 winner joined PSG in 2009 after a dismal spell with Atletico Madrid. The former French international did not have his best days at the Parc des Princes with injuries, and poor form disrupted his time in Paris. Coupet retired at the end of the 2010/11 season after 45 appearances for the French club.
Much more familiar of the three, Alphonse Areola only turned professional in 2009. The French World Cup winner did not make an appearance in the 2010/11 season. In fact, Areola only made his PSG debut two seasons later. The goalkeeper went on to become the club’s first choice for a brief period before the arrival of Keylor Navas, and Gianluigi Buffon hindered his first-team opportunities. Areola spent last season on loan with Fulham in the Premier League and is now back on loan in London with West Ham United.
Christophe Jallet joined the team in 2009 following an impressive three-year spell with Lorient. The Frenchman was the club’s first-choice right-back before the Qatari takeover. He successfully transformed into a central midfielder under Carlo Ancelotti. Jallet left the club in 2014 after 198 appearances and nine goals.
Paris Saint-Germain legend Sylvain Armand had been a part of the French club since 2004. The full-back oversaw the club’s tumultuous reign before the arrival of QSI in 2011. Nicknamed Mr PSG, Armand spent nine years with the club. The defender finally left the club in 2013 after winning his only league title with PSG. Armand left the club as the second-highest capped player in club history with 380 appearances.
An academy product, Mamadou Sakho was one of the key players in the 2010/11 squad for PSG. The defender was just 17 when he made his PSG debut. He was also the youngest player to become the captain of the French giants. Sakho spent 11 years with PSG but finally left the club in 2013 following an influx of stars. Sakho made 201 appearances and scored seven goals for the French giants during his time at the club.
One of the new signings in the 2010/11 squad, Siaka Tiene joined PSG from Valenciennes. He was a regular in his debut season but fell down the pecking order following the Qatari takeover. The former Ivory Coast international left the club in 2013 after making 75 appearances and scoring one goal.
Signed from Internacional in 2007, Ceara was another player who lost his place following the influx of new players after the takeover. The full-back was one of the regulars in the squad before the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti. The Brazilian left the club in 2012 after falling down the pecking order. He made 197 appearances and scored three goals during his five seasons in Paris.
Traore was one of the squad players in the team. He joined PSG in 2006 but was a back-up throughout his entire time at the club. The former Mali international spent six seasons at the club, making 96 appearances and scoring three goals. He left the club in 2012.
A player still linked with Paris Saint Germain, Camara joined the club in 2007. The defender was the club’s first-choice centre-back during his first three seasons but following the QSI takeover, Camara fell down the pecking order but adjusted by playing as a squad player.
Camara spent eight seasons with PSG, making 224 appearances and scoring seven goals. The defender retired at the end of the 2014/15 season. Since then, he spent the next seven seasons as an assistant manager for the team. Following the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino, Camara became a youth academy sports coordinator and now works as the head coach of the U19 team.
One of the signings of the 2010/11 season, Nene was an established player when he joined PSG from Monaco. The Brazilian quickly settled in Paris, taking over the goalscoring responsibilities. The Brazilian was PSG’s top scorer in his first two seasons at the club. The winger ultimately left the club in 2012 after two-and-a-half seasons following an influx of stars. Despite the limited time, Nene scored 48 goals in 112 appearances for the club.
One of the most well-known names in the squad, the 2010/11 season was Makelele’s last as a professional player. The midfielder joined PSG in 2008 and was the club captain during his final season. Makelele ended his PSG career with 118 appearances and one goal.
Clement Chantome was one of the few players who managed to keep their place after the QSI takeover. The midfielder progressed through the youth system and made his debut for the club in 2006. Chantome went on to spend eight-and-a-half seasons with PSG before joining Bordeaux in 2016.
During his 15-year association with PSG, Chantome made 217 appearances and scored eight goals. The Frenchman could have had more appearances if injury troubles hadn’t ruined the second-half of his PSG career.
One of the biggest names in the team, Ludovic Giuly was part of the PSG squad since 2008. The winger was a regular in the PSG lineup before the arrival of Nene pushed him down the pecking order. Giuly did not stay at the club until the QSI takeover, moving to Monaco on a free at the end of the 2010/11 season. During his three seasons, the midfielder made 125 appearances and scored 19 goals.
The Benin international moved out of the club midway through the 2010/11 season. Frictions between manager and player saw Stephane Sessegnon moving out of the club. Despite his inglorious exit, Sessegnon was one of the star players of the 2010/11 squad. He made 97 appearances and scored 18 goals for the club in two-and-a-half seasons.
Mathieu Bodmer was another player who left PSG citing playing time concerns. Bodmer was one of the new faces during the 2010/11 season. After playing as a regular in his first two seasons, Bodmer fell down the pecking order during the 2012/13 season. This ultimately led the midfielder to leave the club in 2013 after making 91 appearances and scoring ten goals.
Signed from Rangers in 2007, Jeremy Clement was one of the regulars in the PSG line-up in three of the four seasons he played at the club. The midfielder made 192 appearances and scored six goals in three seasons for the Parisiens. Despite his decent performances, PSG sold Clement at the end of the 2010/11 campaign.
Mevlut Erdinc joined PSG in 2009 after an impressive spell with Sochaux. The forward was one of PSG’s best players in his first two seasons with the club. But, he struggled to get minutes during the 2011/12 season following the influx of players. Erdinc left the club midway through the 2011/12 season after making 109 appearances and scoring 30 goals.
Signed as the replacement for PSG legend Pauleta, Guillaume Hoarau had an impressive start to life in Paris as he earned a place in Ligue 1 Team of the Year in his debut season. After an injury-filled second season, Horarau reproduced his form and finished the 2010/11 season with 20 goals. Like many other players, the striker struggled to get regular minutes following the addition of stars. Horarau left PSG midway through the 2012/12 season after making 161 appearances and scoring 56 goals.
Peguy Luyindula joined PSG midway through the 2006/07 season. The striker did not have the best of days playing as the spearhead of the attack. Luyindula struggled in front of goal and later found himself down the pecking order after the arrival of Hoarau in 2008. The forward performed better off the bench, impacting many games as a super sub. The last couple of seasons of his PSG career saw Luyindula making just one appearance in two years. The striker left the club midway through the 2012/13 season, after scoring 37 goals in 180 appearances.
After progressing through the youth academy, the 2010/11 season was the breakout year for Jean-Eudes Maurice. The striker made 28 appearances during the season but found his path difficult following the influx of players. Maurice ultimately left the club in search of regular minutes at the end of the 2011/12 season after making 53 appearances and scoring three goals.