Comparing Messi's PSG To All-Time Great Club Sides: Is Current PSG The Greatest Squad Ever Assembled?
Lionel Messi’s signature completed the glorious Parisian roster as Parc Des Princes prepares to witness the legends of the game weave their magic in France. The depleted Ligue 1 could be on the verge of reaching the sky in terms of TV rights and revenue after PSG have produced one of the most glorifying summer windows. When checked on paper, PSG has a squad that could defeat any outfit on any given day without dropping a sweat.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) August 11, 2021
Parc Des Princes could be waiting for a chronicle, with a PSG squad looking to dominate domestic titles and European titles. But it’s not the first time that a squad has assembled mouth-watering names on their roster. Real Madrid ruled the early decades with their ‘Galacticos’, Barcelona dominated the possession game to win the sextuple, while the Red Devils won trophies with the intelligence of Sir Alex Ferguson. We at FootTheBall compare the newly formed PSG squad with some of the greatest European outfits to answer the question-Is this PSG side the greatest squad ever assembled?
A FEW EXAMPLES AND WHAT DOES PSG HAVE?
The footballing world has seen some of the greatest outfits grace the footballing world with their magical presence. Barcelona’s sextuple winning squad of 2009, Manchester United’s treble-winning team of 1999, or Real Madrid’s squad that won the UCL thrice in a row. The history of football has some magnificent names and it has seen some glorious teams capturing domestic and European titles.
Sir Alex with all the other Treble-winning managers in English football…
Are we doing this right? 😅 pic.twitter.com/SASCrL8Ua0
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 26, 2020
But Mauricio Pochetinno’s revamped Parisian squad could replicate the heroics of the above-mentioned teams. They have an attacking trio of ‘MNM’, with Lionel Messi being the latest addition. The midfield is completed by Wijnaldum and Veratti, while Di Maria, Paredes, and Gueye wait for their opportunities. And PSG had splashed some bucks when it came to improving their defensive structure, marauding wing-back Achraf Hakimi headlining the arrivals.
Mauricio Pochettino was on the pitch for Espanyol when Messi made his LaLiga debut in 2004 😮
He's now set to become his new head coach. pic.twitter.com/wPkymI4761
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 8, 2021
Adding another La Liga stalwart in Sergio Ramos to their roster, the lion is prepared to showcase to the world his worth once again. And Keylor Navas, who’s a brick wall between the posts, will be competing with Euro 2020 player of the tournament, Gianluigi Donarrumma.
MSN VS MNM- WHO WINS?
Probably one of the most complete outfits in world football, Luis Enrique’s treble-winning Barcelona side stamped their authority throughout Europe with their utmost domination. The South American combination of Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez demolished La Liga’s defensive structures. Xavi and Iniesta were magical in the midfield while the defence had leaders in Pique and Jordi Alba.
Most goals in 2015:
MSN → 125 goals
Bayern → 119 goals
PSG → 115 goals
Real Madrid → 104 goals pic.twitter.com/25d7P4hgiA
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) November 23, 2015
But Lionel Messi’s former team could be matched by the quality present in his current outfit. Neymar Jr and Lionel Messi could reunite their friendship on the pitch this summer while Kylian Mbappe’s pace could be used to exploit the defence. The ‘MSN’ was one of the strongest attacking outfits across Europe scoring a combined 125 goals. A staggering number, the trio surpassed the goal-scoring tallies of teams across Europe on their way to Barcelona’s second treble.
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) August 11, 2021
But when Neymar and Messi play together once again, the world doesn’t need an introduction of what the South Americans can do. Luis Suarez was a poacher in front of goal but lacked the electrifying darts in behind defences, something Kylian Mbappe could accomplish with his eyes closed. The Frenchman’s hattrick against the Catalans last summer proved why he falls in the category of a lethal finisher. Although Luis Enrique and company had a formidable squad, Lionel Messi’s PSG could easily surpass the benchmarks the 2015/16 Barcelona side had set.
PSG TO REPLICATE LOS BLANCOS’ UCL PERFORMANCES?
Another Spanish outfit, Real Madrid were the force to beat on their way to conquer Europe thrice in a row. Zinedine Zidane’s managerial wizardry showed the world that the Frenchman still bosses the game even after retirement. Having Cristiano Ronaldo in the team helped Los Blancos, as the noodle-haired Portuguese gave nightmares to defenders. Toni Kroos and Luka Modric owned the midfield whenever teams tried to find passes from the centre, as the duo themselves created some jaw-dropping deliveries for their attackers. The topic of ‘BBC’ vs ‘MSN’ ruled the world as La Liga witnessed some of the greats to have ever graced the pitch.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 26, 2018
But the current Paris Saint Germain squad could outshine the laurels won by Los Blancos. A Champions League trophy has evaded the Parisians but Messi’s addition could fulfil their dreams. When Lionel Messi was at Barcelona, Luis Suarez’s declining form and the absence of a secondary striker troubled the Argentine as he created a galaxy of opportunities for his forward line. However, at Parc Des Princes, the Argentine has Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Icardi, and Di Maria, players who won’t need a second opportunity to shoot.
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) July 23, 2021
After all, Angel Di Maria just fulfilled Messi’s dream of international silverware after successfully chipping La Albicelste’s woes in the back of the net. Sergio Ramos would be leading the backline along with Marquinhos and Kimpemebe, a defensive trio that could give headaches to the rival attackers. And while Donnarumma would be donning the No1 jersey for PSG, Real Madrid’s UCL protagonist Keylor Navas could be given opportunities by Pochettino. Although Madrid did the unthinkable, the PSG squad is as well placed as any to come close to those achievements.
BARCELONA 2009 VS MESSI’S PARIS
In the history of the sport, there have been many amazing sides and campaigns. But Pep Guardiola’s FC Barcelona conquered 2009, possibly the best footballing summer in the evolution of the game. The most compelling evidence for Barcelona’s superiority is their track record. They dominated all six tournaments in which they competed. This is a remarkable feat in and of itself, but it isn’t the only one to contemplate. FC Barcelona was recognised for its exquisite gameplay, which included a lot of quick exchanges, incredible talents, and lethal shooting. They didn’t always show off their brilliance in 2009, but they did win with heart in some nasty contests.
Today is the 10-year anniversary of a unique achievement in football history.
It has never been done again. pic.twitter.com/qLpUkA5xOS
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 19, 2019
But something that was common in the Catalans’ eleven and the Parisian’s eleven is the presence of La Pulga. Although during the year 2009, Lionel Messi had emerged as one of the greatest across Europe, the fans at Parc Des Princes don’t need an introduction to La Pulga’s brilliance and capabilities.
A new 💎 in Paris!
PSGxMESSI ❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/scrp1su9a6
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) August 10, 2021
When Lionel Messi is on the pitch, a movement of magic is waiting to be produced by the Argentine and it usually happens more than once. When Pep’s Barcelona won the sextuple, they had defensive stability and flamboyance in attacking. Mauricio Pochettino’s summer signings fall perfectly in both the brackets making the squad of PSG a dominant one.
There have been other iconic sides, most recently Hansi Flick’s dominating Bayern Munich, and going further back, the veteran-savvy of Milan, or the glorious Cruyffism of Ajax. However, each of them had some chinks in their armour. The current PSG squad has not taken the field yet, but looking at the surface level, their squad looks foolproof, probably the best ever in football history. It might just be treble or nothing for manager Mauricio Pochettino.