On August 18, Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi left the capital club to ply his trade in Italy at Juventus FC. The deal was rumored to be worth around €20 million with a possible €10 million in incentives.
Matuidi arrived from AS Saint-Etienne in 2011, the same year Qatar Sports Investments took over at PSG, and after six seasons at the Parc des Princes, the Frenchman featured in 295 matches while scoring 33 times and earning 15 trophies. He has been a pivotal participant in the QSI project of turning PSG into the most successful club in France and a growing force in Europe.
The 30-year-old may be gone but he achieved legendary status for Les Parisiens long ago and he will stay in the hearts of fans for generations to come. To send Blaisou out in style, here are his best 6 goals from his career in Paris.
6: PSG 2-0 GFC Ajaccio, (11′) 2015-16
Before the 2015-16 season began, pressure was on PSG to perform at a high level having won a historic domestic quadruple the season before and signing Angel Di Maria from Manchester United. Fans expected this exciting new team to flourish into a world class squad and better their previous performance in the UEFA Champions League, which ultimately ended in a disappointing 5-1 aggregate loss to FC Barcelona.
Matuidi was able to meet expectation against against Ajaccio in the opening match of the season. In the 11th minute, Matuidi blasted a shot into the top left corner to score the game’s opener. Not only was the goal beautiful but it set the tone for the rest of the season. PSG would go on to win the domestic quadruple once again, including winning the league by more than 30 points.
5: PSG 3-2 Barcelona, (54′) 2014-15
During the 2014-15 Champions League season, PSG were dealt a bad hand. Aspirations of finishing top of their group suffered a blow when Barcelona were drawn in the same group and to make matters worse, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was ruled out of the clash with an injury. Paris stepped up though and after an impressive performance they were able to beat the Spanish giants 3-2 with Matuidi scoring the winner. His goal wasn’t as beautiful per se but it marked the first time the club beat the Catalans in the QSI-era.
4: PSG 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais, (45+2′) 2012-13
After playing 17 matches of Le Championnat in 2012-13, PSG found themselves stuck in second place behind title rivals Lyon. On match day 18 though, a head-to-head meeting presented a golden opportunity to catch Les Gones. After 45 minutes of play though, it seemed like the contest would have to be resolved in the second half with the score knotted at 0-0. The referee added two minutes of extra time though and that was all Matuidi needed. The midfielder made good on his chance and at the stroke of halftime, he scored the match winner to put PSG in first place. The win sparked PSG to their first league title since 1994.
3: FC Metz 2-3 PSG, (90+3′) 2016-17
The 2016-17 Ligue 1 season was a shock to many supporters with AS Monaco leading the standings late in the season. It was more of a shock though when Metz came back against PSG from a 2-0 deficit in the last 10 minutes to make it 2-2, seemingly handing the title over to Monaco at last. The equalizer had come in the 88th minute, practically leaving Paris with no time to find a winner and minutes away from losing the title race. Matuitui would once again have the final word when he rose above everyone in the 95th minute to score the winner. PSG would ultimately finish second in the league to Monaco but Matuidi’s goal kept the dream of a fifth consecutive league title alive for another week.
2: PSG 2-2 Barcelona, (94′) 2012-13
The Frenchman’s heroics once again make the list and this time its against Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the 2012-13 Champions League. Until this point, PSG were not considered nearly as dangerous as they are today and Lyon would probably have been favored to cause an upset against the stronger Spanish side. Nonetheless, PSG put in an impressive performance and held onto a 1-1 result until the 88th minute when Xavi converted a penalty and put Barca ahead while breaking the heart of the Parc faithful. Other plans were roaming in Matuidi’s head, however, and in the 94th minute, he fired Ibrahimovic’s headed pass past a helpless Víctor Valdés to equalize the contest at the death. PSG was now able to measure against the biggest sides in the world and it gave Carlo Ancelotti’s team a glimmer of hope of reaching the next round.
1: Olympique de Marseille 2-3 PSG, (35′) 2014-15
The Stade Vélodrome has always set a fantastic atmosphere for the most important match in France, Le Classique. This was especially true in the 2014-15 season when rivals PSG and Marseille were fighting head-to-head for the title in the latter stages of the season. In the match, Marseille forward André-Pierre Gignac had given his team, which by the way was playing substantially better than Paris, the lead. It seemed like it would stay that way judging by the run of play but leader as he is, Matuidi scored a screamer only five minutes later, giving PSG the moral boost not only to beat Marseille at their home, but on on and win the league.
Memories aside, it’s clear the new Juventus man has played a massive part in the growth of PSG and will be in the hearts of supporters forever, including myself. The boy that came from Saint-Etienne grew up and now Matuidi is a Paris Saint-Germain legend. Merci Blaise!