Journalist, writer, author. Four books, many journeys. All football. On Twitter is @pizzigo. On Twitch with @lafieradelcalcio
“Ici c’est … Paris!”
The crowd’s cry is a pride to represent (maybe) the most beautiful city in the world but also the need to feel a part of it. Paris does not welcome everything, it cooperates, hires and puts into service. These two troubled Lyons, who invented the new art of motion pictures, would have made the world visible to them only after a show in a café in the French capital: from that moment on, cinema became (after) another port of Ville Lumiere.
Football followed the same path. Because if the British invented the rules of soccer and the love of roblates for soccer, then the French, who are the real Americans in the world, moved to make the feet the true Esperanto of the planet, also thanks to Jules’ intervention. Rimet, an acquired Parisian, organized the World Championships by digging the gap that exists today between our sport and all other disciplines.
The relationship between Parisian football clubs and football was a bit complicated from the start. True, the real representatives, the archetype, was born a few kilometers from the Eiffel Tower, in Reims, with Stade, the first finalist of the Champions Cup (where? Obviously in Paris!) and the national team base ’58, the only team that worried Brazil about the phenomenon Pele and Garrincha and then her hero.
So Paris was the football capital, but it was an open football city, without a big club to represent it.
Many have tried to build a competitive Parisian reality, from Jean-Paul Belmondo, with the participation of Daniel Hatchter, to Canal Plus, the continent’s most interesting pay-TV project. In 2011, the last commodity on the list, the Qatari entered through a fund directly linked to the state and the family of the emir who rules it. A few months ago, FIFA commissioned the organization of the 2022 World Cup in that place of the Arabian Peninsula, and herein lies the sudden love for football. The acquisition of Paris Saint-Germain presents an opportunity to experience running a high-profile football club, on the same path followed by the neighboring United Arab Emirates, which acquired Manchester City earlier.
PSG has always sought an identity that has not really been found since its last birth (around 1970 and due to a series of mergers between small clubs).
In August 2017, with the purchase of Neymar, one of the best players on the planet, Paris is really showing that they are serious. This sale will not be fully absorbed by Barcelona, mentally rather than technically, causing a wave of indignation in Catalonia: “How can a football artist let us move to an arrogant club?” In the changing world of football, this transition will be remembered in the history books. I was at the Parco dei Principi, at the presentation of the Brazilian, and everyone felt joy and surprise when they tried to convince themselves that Paris had finally had its own football team, a football team worthy of the value and history of Phil Lumiere.
“Ici c’est Paris!” They all cried.
With the arrival of Neymar, came other national titles and the Champions League final, where he lost with a goal from a Parisian boy who grew up in the nursery of Paris Saint-Germain. Football gods can be particularly mischievous, especially with newcomers to the elite.
The arrival of Leo Messi last year, the best football player in the world and perhaps in the history of the game, did not achieve the expected continental results, even if the two best matches of Paris Pochettino specifically against Real Madrid, dominated 150 minutes out of. 180, before the outbreak of the next Golden Globe, another award born in the fifties of the last century in Paris, which this year will be awarded to a citizen of the Lumiere brothers who brought cinema to the capital. And here we are above hatred, it is a real persecution of Paris.
Paris is changing again, and we are today, but this time it is also changing its philosophy. The occasion is listed again in the football history books: Kylian Mbappe, needless to say, born and raised in Ile-de-France, Paris province, who had already promised to marry Real Madrid, chose to stay in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. And around him a new project was born.
New sporting director Luis Campos, the Portuguese who has been in Ligue 1 for years, first with Monaco and then at Lille, wants to put together a team with a strong playing identity around an expert coach from France, Christophe Galtier paid for. Penalty for Niza (Galtier’s last club, he moved from Italy to Monza as a player) and at the same time a huge compensation payment to Pochettino, severing the working relationship. However, there is a high risk attesting to the high confidence in a different and new project, with clear attention paid to that nursery that in the past has often produced players who have proven themselves elsewhere: the 2006 super talent class Warren Zaire-Emery was promoted to settle with the first team, He has already shown an excellent performance in preparations, to be soon followed by central defender Pichiapu, who is also European champion with France’s Under-17 team, last month.
Perspective players, and not only from the nursery, we also think about the possible participation of Gianluca Scamaca from Sassuolo, and then more effective elements around the star Mbappe, who has become an icon of the club. The former Porto Veneña, and soon Skriniar, are the first props: core players with low media appeal, at least for very large canons, but ideal for the new identity that Galtier wants to give to the new Paris.
The goal has been the same over fifty years ago: not just to shout out loud “Ici c’est Paris”, but to be truly convinced.
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