Mentality, or lack of mentality, has been one of PSG’s main downfalls when it comes to their lack of European success.
The one year where PSG did manage to get to the Champions League final, there were many factors playing into their advantage. No fans were allowed in the stadiums, eradicating frantic atmospheres. The Ligue 1 season was also cut short early.
PSG just had the Champions League and without the excruciating pressure of the Ultras at the Parc De Princes, Thomas Tuchel’s side thrived. A comeback win over Atalanta and a thrashing of RB Leipzig finally meant that PSG could play for the biggest prize in club football.
They eventually fell short in the final, losing to an all-star Bayern Munich side who have countless experience in big European games, becoming Champions of Europe for the sixth time. This showed that PSG were ready to play in the biggest game in club football, but, yet again, their mentality has held them back.
That time has yet to come. The pressure from the fans is back. After losing to Real this season, fans booed Messi and co when they returned to league action. A constant sense of underachievement is being hammered on this PSG squad.
The word squad may be a stretch when talking about this PSG team. A team is where everyone works together towards the same goal. PSG are a team of individuals.
Neymar joined PSG in 2017 not to be part of the project and help the team, but to escape Messi’s shadow at Barcelona. To show that he was the best and to help himself be the best in the world, to win the Ballon d’Or.
Now that Messi has joined the Brazilian in Paris, the team’s sense of being just a collection of stars has been heightened. The functionality is not there and for this PSG will continue to be a struggle.
Another Ligue 1 title is in the bag but even last year, success in France was not guaranteed. The 2020/21 Champions of France were Lille. Lille were a team and despite not having the talent of PSG, they worked together and conquered France. Both teams exiting at the last 16 of the Champions League is the ultimate show of PSG’s weaknesses.
Pochettino looks likely to be gone by the time the new season starts and PSG’s latest Champions League campaign. Will it be different this time? Time will tell but until PSG change, being the Champions of Europe will remain out of grasp.