PSG returns to earth after a lucrative tour through Qatar

The German coach of the PSG, Thomas Tuchel, in Doha.
The German coach of the PSG, Thomas Tuchel, in Doha. KARIM JAAFAR / AFP

Wednesday, January 16, 18 h 48 hours. A statement from the Paris-Saint-Germain Communications Department puts the football community in turmoil: "The PSG, the first sports club in the world to participate in a traditional camel race." "Shocks down in the editorial." The Paris club is just the history of matches The PSG has honored its traditional tour in Doha, the aptly named Qatar Winter Tour, for five days and announced it on every stage of its trip to Qatari.

Camel racing, but also signing sessions, commercials, inauguration of the new metro of the capital of the emirate … While several clubs in Ligue 1 were in the middle of the week to play matches that were postponed in December in the mobilization of "yellow cardigans" "PSG players have made a long journey (business class) to trudge through the desert and fulfill its commercial obligations.

A journey made with the blessing of the Professional Football League (LFP). Because it never costs anything to ask, PSG had proposed to postpone its match against Montpellier to take the path to Doha. The positive reaction of the LFP led to a lively controversy in France about the legitimacy of placing the financial interests of a club above that of French football. But also questions raised about how to prepare for the next sporting milestones of the players of Thomas Tuchel.

Read also French football bends to the Paris-Saint-Germain calendar

Justify his sponsorship contract, promote Qatar

In the absence of the physical condition of his players to improve, the purpose of this tour was double of PSG: justified the contract to 215 million euros signed by the club with its main sponsor, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), essential to the nails of financial fair play, and devalued to 100 million than 58 million by the institute of financial control of the clubs (ICFC). And promotes Qatar, his generous owner. "I think they do [les Qataris] invest a lot in infrastructure, in the modern club and in players in general, transfers and others. We, what we can give them, is a little visibility, a small promotion ", summarized the Belgian international Thomas Meunier.

With Neymar and Mbappé in his baggage PSG attracts journalists from all over the world. The ideal opportunity to organize the article for the World Cup in 2022 by the emirate. "Because of its reputation, prestige and talent, the PSG attracts a lot of attention, and I think Qatar really wants to take advantage of this, rightly given the effort it makes to support this club."AFP admitted French ambassador to Qatar, Franck Gellet, to open a training session for the public at Khalifa Stadium on Tuesday.

Not the best way for the Parisians to prepare Saturday's meeting against Guingamp, his surprise guests in the Coupe de la Ligue, on January 9th. "Qatar was great, but we did a lot of things with the players, a lot of marketing appointments", regretted coach Thomas Tuchel Friday in a press conference, while he hastened to add, without really convincing, that his group also "Many good quality training courses".

In an already acquired championship, the margin of the PSG is so (13 points ahead of Lille, despite two games less) that the result against Guingamp has no influence on the search for a new title. On the other hand, the first stage against Manchester United in the last eight of the Champions League is fast enough (February 12) and the German coach would not have missed a full training week at the Camp des Loges.

Mercato and Rabiot case

Behind the scenes and between visits, the leaders are still trying to find the midfielder, this missing link since the retirement of Thiago Motta in June last year. Because we borrow a lot from the rich, the names scroll and vary according to the media. At the start of the week the team called an agreement with former Lille Idrissa Gueye, now in Everton. The Parisian hinted that Borussia Dortmund had opened the door for a departure from Julien Weigl (former Tuchel protégé) against a transfer of 25 million euros. For its part, RMC reported an agreement between the PSG and the Argentine Leandro Paredes (Zenith Saint Petersburg). Frenkie De Jong (Ajax Amsterdam) would be a certain time to become a member of FC Barcelona, ​​this summer in the Paris area, according to the Catalan media.

In this whirlwind of rumors that are specific to the transfer window, there is one certainty: time is running out for PSG at this post-midfielder. This Friday a new phase went through in the long and painful divorce procedure with Adrien Rabiot, unwanted since his refusal to extend his contract with his training club, and announced with insistence on the side of FC Barcelona.

according to theteam, the international, absent from the tour in Qatar for personal reasons, trained this Friday morning with the reserve team of the club. While the French Football Charter stipulates that a player must train with his usual teammates, is it likely that this situation will persist? The case law of the Ben Arfa case, which had attacked the club after receiving a placard, should lead the leaders to be more careful in the already delicate management of the Rabiot case. The camel race seems far away.

Read also PSG: towards the end of the story with Adrien Rabiot

Maxime Goldbaum

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