Open the paper, PSG. Turn on the television, PSG. The Parisians were in the news for a myriad of reasons this week.
There was the emphatic 4-1 win over Dynamo Kiev to open their champions league campaign. Shady dealings vis-à-vis their owners, Qatar National Bank and the impending cloud of doom that is financial fair play. Rumored contact with Ronaldo – a google search of Ronaldo and PSG results in 15,200,000 matches. Even Zlatan’s lodgings made the news – on a side note, it’s no wonder many professional athletes struggle with finances after their playing days are finished, a €3,000 hotel room per night? Come on man.
Lost in the hysteria, driven by muckrakers like myself, was PSG’s quest for a title that’s almost become an afterthought – the domestic crown. It’s not like they were setting the world on fire in that aspect either. Three consecutive draws to open the season had Carlo Ancelotti on edge – that poor, poor water bottle.
All is forgotten. Victories over Lille and Toulouse managed to infuse calm. Today’s 4-0 thrashing over Bastia at Stade Armand-Cesari-Furiani should serve as the dessert after a successful week.
Jeremy Menez’s goal in the sixth minute was the result of atrocious marking and a good ball in from Ibrahimovic, the former more important than the latter. Bastia’s Wahbi Khazri occasionally threatened PSG’s goal with well taken strikes, but nothing overtly concerning.
Marco Verratti continues to play superb football. After being likened to Andrea Pirlo by his coach – no pressure, Marco – Verratti justified the praise from Ancelloti with incredible vision and an ability to be better than everyone else on the field, regardless of his young age. The Italian youngster remains humble, but ignore the hype at your own risk. Brazil 2014 will be Verratti’s stage.
And Zlatan was Zlatan. Continuing to look mildly disinterested and scoring goals. His second of the day was typical Ibra. Seven goals in five games, is there anymore you can ask?
Yes, it’s still early, but this was the way it was supposed to be when PSG joined the ranks of Europe’s mega-spenders. The deficiencies at the back are still there, and they’ve yet to play their biggest challengers – Marseille and Lyon – but the conversation surrounding the club is markedly different compared to just three weeks ago.
Whether Ronaldo comes to Paris remains to be seen – any deal centers around the club’s ability to be ‘sponsored’ by Qatar National Bank. Do they need him? Probably. Though I’m not sure Paris’ ego per capita can take another infusion.