PSG’s latest European failure proves money cannot buy you everything

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian defender Marquinhos (C) cheers up Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Manchester United at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on March 6, 2019. / AFP / FRANCK FIFE
Updated 08 March 2019

PSG’s latest European failure proves money cannot buy you everything

LONDON: Another year and another embarrassing early exit from the Champions League for PSG.
Make no mistake, this was the one trophy the Qatar-owned club wanted to win — Ligue 1 now reduced to a boring procession by the pile of money (over $1 billion) injected into the club.
Two years on from their humiliation at the same stage against Barcelona — when they let slip a four-goal lead from the first leg — and PSG once again are left with the realization that money can only buy you so much.
It seems strange to cast Manchester United — a club that for many typifies the business-first approach of modern-day football clubs — as plucky outsiders. But that is exactly what they were on Wednesday night. Given no chance against Kylian Mbappe and Co. and with virtually a second XI on the pitch, the contrast with their moneybags opponents could not have been more stark. But they illustrated a work ethic and, to use Solskjaer’s word, “humbleness” that once again was so clearly lacking in PSG.
Qatari cash has not only destroyed the French League, but, ironically, also PSG’s chance of success, in the short-term at least, in Europe. On every occasion the capital club have been asked questions and forced to battle they have been found wanting. United displayed exactly what PSG needed — fun and fight.
That they achieved it with a host of home-grown players who cost nothing and an interim coach who is there for the love of the club and game, and not a huge paycheck, speaks volumes as the Qatar-owned club ponder where they go from here.


Al-Hilal players to arrive in Tokyo on Sunday for AFC Champions League final second leg

Updated 16 November 2019

Al-Hilal players to arrive in Tokyo on Sunday for AFC Champions League final second leg

  • Al-Hilal’s director of football Saud Kariri said that anything is possible
  • Blues captain Mohammad Al-Shalhoub said the players were unfortunate not to be further ahead

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal will arrive in the Japanese capital Tokyo on Sunday Nov. 17 to prepare for their AFC Champions League final second leg against Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds at Saitama Stadium.
Al-Hilal enter the second leg under less pressure than their Japanese counterpart, having secured a narrow 1-0 win in the first leg in Riyadh last Sunday.
Al-Hilal players remain optimistic about the final, according to sources, and are looking to avenge losses in 2014 and 2017 finals, when they lost 1-0 in Australia and went down to next week’s opponents Urawa.
Blues captain Mohammad Al-Shalhoub said the players were unfortunate not to be further ahead after the game in Riyadh after wasting many opportunities and coming out with one goal, stressing that they are required to concentrate more in Saitama.
“We will be well-prepared to play against Urawa in the second leg through the camp we will set up in Japan to win the final,” he said.
Al-Hilal’s director of football Saud Kariri said that anything is possible during the 90-minute game at the Saitama Stadium, adding: “We hope our players are lucky to invest well in the opportunities and make it difficult for our opponent to score an early goal.”
The 2019 AFC Champions League Final at Saitama Stadium is expected to see a huge crowd, especially after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced four airplanes will transport Al-Hilal’s fans to support the players in Japan.