We are truly are living in unprecedented times. ESPN FC had a chance to bash Paris Saint-Germain and Ligue 1 and their panel of former football players and journalists defended the club. What!?
The topic of discussion for Julien Laurens, Craig Burley, and Frank Leboeuf centered around comments made by Javier Pastore about the weakness of Ligue 1 and how it impacts PSG in the UEFA Champions League.
Burley was the first to respond to Pastore’s comments and referenced the example of PSG defeating FC Barcelona 4-0 in the Champions League in 2017. Sure, they lost the return leg 6-1 but there were several reasons why that was, including an incompetent referee.
Leboeuf echoed those comments from Burley and questioned why Juventus FC and FC Bayern Munich can be competitive in the Champions League when their leagues lack competition at the top of the table as well. The former France international called out the players for not doing what needs to be done to advance in the competition, which is probably a fair criticism.
Laurens took a slightly different take but still agreed with those who spoke before him. According to the journalist, it would be great for Ligue 1 to be more competitive to better prepare PSG for adversity in the Champions League, but that’s not necessarily why they’ve underperformed. He also makes a great point in that when Premier League clubs weren’t winning the Champions League regularly that some in the media questioned whether that league was too difficult.
Host Dan Thomas then posed the question to Leboeuf of whether or not putting PSG in the Premier League would make a difference.
“That might, yeah, that might, of course,” Leboeuf said. “I don’t know which position they would finish because we see so many players at that club not ready to fight, to be warriors at certain points. The Premier League is a very difficult one with big intensity in the game especially defensively and it’s different than Ligue 1.”
Paris Saint-Germain can quiet all of their critics and put this debate to bed once and for all in August with the Champions League resumes. Les Parisiens reached the quarter-finals of the tournament after defeating Borussia Dortmund last March and are waiting to learn who their opponent will be. The final eight teams will compete in Lisbon, Portugal, in a single-elimination format to decide the winner.
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