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Revamped PSG begins Champions League campaign against Dortmund

In the French championship, PSG obtained only eight points in five matches, their worst total since the 2010-11 season. He also lost at home to Nice 3-2 this weekend.

Paris Saint-Germain started their previous Champions League campaign with a team featuring Lionel Messi and Neymar and a victory against Juventus.


The two greats of football failed to score that night and PSG were subsequently eliminated from Europe’s top competition at the round of 16 for the fifth time in seven years. This premature exit has, once again, highlighted the glaring failure of PSG’s strategy of bringing together star-studded teams with no real backbone.

However, its owners changed their master plan during the offseason and it is a revamped PSG that faces Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday in the group stage of Europe’s elite tournament.

As usual, the French champions have spent a lot of money on bringing in new signings, but they no longer seem obsessed with the need for big names.

Participating for the 12th consecutive time in the group stage, the PSG squad against Dortmund on Tuesday is radically different from that eliminated by Bayern Munich last season.

Up front, Marco Asensio joined from Real Madrid, Gonçalo Ramos arrived from Benfica and Randal Kolo Muani signed to possibly form an all-French attack alongside Kylian Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé. PSG also transformed their midfield by signing Kang-in Lee and Manuel Ugarte. In defense, Lucas Hernandez from Bayern Munich was added, as well as Milan Skriniar.

Besides the departures of Messi and Neymar, Sergio Ramos and Marco Verratti have also left, while PSG have switched to a 4-3-3 formation under new coach Luis Enrique, who does not have to worry about welcome Neymar, Messi and Mbappé together.

Qatari investors, who took over in 2011, hope their new strategy will finally help them replicate the club’s domestic dominance on Europe’s biggest stage. And they also count on Enrique, who won the Champions League, the Spanish championship and the Copa del Rey in his first season in charge of the club when he coached Barcelona.

“You need ambition, but when you are obsessed with something, it never works, in any area of ​​life,” Enrique said on Monday, when asked about PSG’s thirst for the Champions League. “We’re really hopeful. We want to go out and play, we want to please our fans, we want the tournament to start, but we’re not obsessed. »

But the new players have yet to coalesce into a solid unit and Enrique’s possession-based system has not yielded immediate results.

Over the weekend, PSG looked shaky and lacked offensive creativity as Skriniar and Dembele delivered below-par performances.

Enrique, however, said he was not troubled by the result.


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