Paris Saint-Germain tumbled out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage

Paris Saint-Germain tumbled out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage

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10 Mar 2022
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Beso
PSG

Ligue 1 heavyweights at Parc des Princes have invested heavily in pursuit of an elusive piece of silverware, with the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Lionel Messi acquired on lucrative contracts.

Continental success continues to fall agonisingly out of reach

Paris Saint-Germain tumbled out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage in dramatic fashion against Real Madrid, with prominent figures in Marseille seemingly taking great delight in the demise of old adversaries. Ligue 1 heavyweights at Parc des Princes have invested heavily in pursuit of an elusive piece of silverware, with the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Lionel Messi acquired on lucrative contracts. Continental success continues to fall agonisingly out of reach, though, with Marseille – who emerged triumphant back in 1993 – still the only French side to have got their hands on the European Cup. PSG appeared to be easing their way into the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League when Kylian Mbappe opened the scoring at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday and put them two goals up on aggregate.

Forever the first and only OM

However, France international Karim Benzema was to have the last word as he netted a stunning second-half hat-trick and booked the Blancos a place in the previous eight. As the final whistle blew in the Spanish capital and wild celebrations were sparked among home players and supporters, Benoit Payan – the major of Marseille – posted a single star emoji on Twitter, which is considered to be a nod towards a solitary French triumph in Europe. Payan was not the only prominent figure with solid ties to Marseille that had their say on social media. Former OM striker Brandao, who took in 116 games for the club between 2008 and 2012, posted: “Forever the first and only OM.” In response, Emmanuel Gregoire, the deputy Mairie of Paris, tweeted: “When Marseille suffer, Paris will be by her side because Marseille is a beautiful city which deserves respect. That’s the sporting spirit.”

That appears to have been lost on some of those in the south of France, with great pleasure taken in seeing PSG suffer another early Champions League exit. An expensively-assembled squad did reach the final back in 2020, only to come unstuck against Bayern Munich, and have failed to make it beyond the last-16 in four of the last six campaigns.

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