Paris Saint-Germain F.C.
Paris Saint-Germain Football Club (French pronunciation: [paʁi sɛ̃ ʒɛʁmɛ̃]), commonly known as Paris Saint-Germain, Paris SG, or simply PSG, is a French professional football club based in the city of Paris. Founded in 1970, the club has traditionally worn red-and-blue kits. The team has played its home matches in the 47,929-capacity Parc des Princes in the 16th arrondissement of Paris since 1974. The club plays in the highest tier of French football, Ligue 1.
|Full name||Paris Saint-Germain Football Club|
|Short name||PSG, Paris SG|
|Founded||12 August 1970|
|Ground||Parc des Princes|
|Owner||Oryx Qatar Sports Investments (QSi)|
|2017–18||Ligue 1, 1st|
|Football (Men's)||Football (Youth Men's)||Football (Women's)|
|Boxing (Men's)||League (Men's)|
Paris Saint-Germain established itself as a major force in France, and one of the majors forces of the European football in the recent years. PSG has won a total of 36 top-flight trophies, making it the most successful French club in history by this measure. PSG is also the only club to have never been relegated from Ligue 1, the club with most consecutive seasons in top-flight (they have played 45 seasons in Ligue 1 since 1974), one of only two French clubs to have won a major European title, and the most popular football club in France and one of the most widely supported teams in the world.
Domestically, the Parisians have won seven Ligue 1 titles, a record twelve Coupe de France, a record eight Coupe de la Ligue, and a record seven Trophée des Champions titles. The club has also won one Ligue 2 title. In European football, they have won one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and one UEFA Intertoto Cup. The Red-and-Blues have a long-standing rivalry with Olympique de Marseille. The duo contest French football's most notorious match, known as Le Classique.
Oryx Qatar Sports Investments (QSi) has been the club's owner since 2011. The takeover made PSG the richest club in France and one of the wealthiest in the world. Currently, they have the seventh-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual revenue of €486.2m, and are the world's eleventh most valuable football club, worth €825m. The capital club currently has active departments for youth football (PSG Academy), and women's football (PSG Féminines).
Paris Saint-Germain was formed on 12 August 1970 after the fusion of Paris FC – created a year earlier to fill the void of having no top-flight club in the capital – and Stade Saint-Germain, founded in 1904 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the birth town of Louis XIV.
However, PSG really took flight in 1973, when fashion designer Daniel Hechter took over the club. Coached by French football legend Just Fontaine, PSG won promotion to Ligue 1 a year later and slowly began attracting the first stars of the Red-and-Blues such as Mustapha Dahleb and Carlos Bianchi.
In 1978, Daniel Hechter handed control of the club to Francis Borelli, under whose guidance the Red-and-Blues won their first silverware: the Coupe de France in 1982 and 1983 and the league in 1986, during a decade marked by players such as Safet Sušić, Luis Fernández and Dominique Rocheteau.
Canal+ took over the club in 1991, and propelled PSG to the forefront of the European game. Between 1993 and 1997, the club from the French capital made five European semi-finals in a row. Led by football icons David Ginola, George Weah and Valdo, amongst others, PSG won a second league title in 1994, two years before lifting the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
At the start of the 21st century, PSG produced many talents, including Ronaldinho and Pauleta, but struggled to rescale the heights they obtained during the earlier years. This changed in 2011, however, with the arrival of new owners Oryx Qatar Sports Investments (QSi), and new club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. QSi established an extremely ambitious project to take the club to the summits of the European game.
Spearheaded by the arrival of superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimović, PSG attained four league titles, three Coupe de France, four Coupe de la Ligue and five Trophée des Champions titles. The club further built upon this success by signing world-record transfer Neymar and 18-year-old French prodigy Kylian Mbappé in 2017. Together with Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, they formed a fearsome attacking trio and claimed PSG's third domestic quadruple in four seasons.
Since its foundation, PSG has always represented both Paris and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. As a result, red, blue and white are the traditional colours of Paris Saint-Germain. The red and blue represent the city of Paris, while the white stands for the nearby commune of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
In the club's crest, the French capital is represented by the Eiffel Tower in red and the blue background. For its part, the white cradle with the white fleur de lys on top is a hint to the coat of arms of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and to French royalty. In France, white is the colour of royalty and the fleur de lys is a royal symbol. The cradle and the fleur de lys also recall that French King Louis XIV was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1638.
Likewise, PSG's home shirt has always featured the three colours of the club. The three main home jerseys worn by Paris SG throughout its history have been predominantly red, blue or white. The club's first shirt was red, while the other two were predominantly blue (« Hechter shirt ») and white. However, all three have included the remaining two colours, as well as with further variations of the home jersey.
"Paris est magique!" ("Paris is magic!") and "Ici, c'est Paris!" ("Here is Paris!") have historically been the club's most popular mottos. More recently, PSG introduced its official anthem and mascot. In commemoration of its 40th anniversary in 2010, the capital club revived its Tournoi de Paris pre-season competition. Ahead of the tournament, PSG unveiled "Allez Paris Saint-Germain", to the tune of "Go West" by Village People, and Germain the Lynx as the club's anthem and mascot, respectively. "Ville Lumière", to the tune of "Flower of Scotland", is considered a club anthem as well.
The newly formed Paris Saint-Germain wore a red shirt during its first three seasons of existence. The jersey also featured a blue and white collar to bring together the three colours of the club: the red and blue of Paris, and the white of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. During the 2010–11 season, PSG wore a red shirt in their home games to commemorate its 40th anniversary.
In 1973, fashion designer Daniel Hechter became club president and designed PSG's iconic jersey. Hechter would later admit that his creation was influenced by Ajax's outfit. The so-called "Hechter shirt", first worn until 1980–81, is blue with a red central and vertical band framed by white edgings. It returned as PSG's home identity in 1993–94, and has remained so ever since, despite Nike's constant innovations.
PSG stars from the 1990s and 2000s eras such as Raí, Ronaldinho and Pauleta are associated with the blue-white-red-white-blue shirt. It was with the "Hechter shirt" that PSG reached five European semi-finals in a row (1993–1997), claimed the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1995–96, and achieved the (first) eight consecutive wins against Olympique de Marseille (2002–2004).
Promoted by PSG president Francis Borelli, the club changed its home identity in 1981–82. The new shirt, worn until 1992–93, was white with blue and red vertical stripes on the left. PSG legends from the 1980s like Safet Sušić, Luis Fernández and Dominique Bathenay are associated with the white jersey. It was with this outfit that fans saw the first big PSG team that won two Coupe de France titles (1982, 1983), experienced its first European campaign in 1983, and claimed its maiden league crown in 1986.
The first crest of the club, also known as Paris FC logo, surfaced in 1970 and was used during the following two seasons. It featured a ball and a vessel, two powerful symbols of Paris. After the split from Paris FC in 1972, PSG created their historic crest, known as the Eiffel Tower logo. The Eiffel Tower logo finally represented both Paris and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. It mainly consisted of a blue background with the Eiffel Tower in red. But between the tower's legs sat two Saint-Germain-en-Laye symbols in white: Louis XIV's cradle and a fleur de lys.
According to former PSG manager Robert Vicot, club president Daniel Hechter introduced the Eiffel Tower in the crest. However, it was a draftsman called Mr. Vallot who had the idea of placing the birthplace of Louis XIV between the legs of the tower. Former Paris SG shareholder Canal+ was the first to replace the iconic crest in 1994. The new model had the acronym "PSG" and underneath it "Paris Saint-Germain." Under pressure from supporters, the traditional crest returned in 1995.
In 2013, the Eiffel Tower crest received a makeover. PSG shareholder Oryx Qatar Sports Investments (QSi) wanted to take full advantage of the city's global appeal and the new crest features the name "PARIS" written in large bold letters. Additionally, Louis XIV's cradle was left out as the fleur de lys now sits solely under the Eiffel Tower. Finally, "Saint-Germain" took the place of the club's founding year "1970" at the bottom.
Parc des Princes
The Parc des Princes is an all-seater football stadium in Paris, France. The venue is located in the south-west of the French capital, inside the 16th arrondissement of Paris, in the immediate vicinity of the Stade Jean-Bouin (rugby venue) and within walking distance from the Stade Roland Garros (tennis venue).
The stadium, with a seating capacity of 47,929 spectators, has been the home pitch of Paris Saint-Germain since 1974. Before the opening of the Stade de France in 1998, it was also the home arena of the French national football and rugby union teams. The Parc des Princes pitch is surrounded by four covered all-seater stands, officially known as the Présidentielle Francis Borelli, Auteuil, Paris and Boulogne Stands.
Conceived by architect Roger Taillibert, the current version of the Parc des Princes officially opened on 4 June 1972, at a cost of 80–150 million francs. The stadium is the third to have been built on the site, the first opening its doors in 1897 and the second following in 1932.
PSG registered its record home attendance in 1983, when 49,575 spectators witnessed the club's 2–0 win over Waterschei in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals. However, the French national rugby team holds the stadium's absolute attendance record. They defeated Wales 31–12 in the 1989 Five Nations Championship in front of 50,370 spectators.
Camp des Loges
The Camp des Loges, also known as the Ooredoo Training Centre for sponsorship reasons, is a sports complex located in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The current version of the Camp des Loges officially opened on 4 November 2008. It is the second to have been built on the site, the first opening its doors in 1904.
The sports complex has been the training centre of Paris Saint-Germain since the club's foundation in 1970, as well as playing host to the Paris Saint-Germain Academy since its opening on 4 November 1975. In July 2016, PSG chose Poissy as the site of its future performance centre, baptised Campus Paris Saint-Germain, which is scheduled to open at the start of the 2019–20 season.
Stade Municipal Georges Lefèvre
The Stade Municipal Georges Lefèvre is a sports complex located on Président-Kennedy avenue in the forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, just across the street from Paris Saint-Germain's training centre, the Camp des Loges.
The complex's main football stadium, with a seating capacity of 2,164 spectators, was the home pitch of PSG until 1974, when the club moved into the Parc des Princes. Currently, the stadium — as well as the other artificial turf and grass football pitches of the complex — hosts training sessions and home matches for the Paris Saint-Germain Academy.
Paris Saint-Germain is the most popular football club in France ahead of arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is one of the club's most prominent supporters. Since the emergence of the Boulogne Boys in the 1980s, PSG fan groups or ultras have been linked to football hooliganism. PSG's Boulogne Boys, considered one of the oldest hooligan groups in France, took their British neighbours as dubious role models and violence escalated in the early 1990s. PSG owners Canal+, France's premium pay channel, even tried to break up the Boys without success.
The feared French riot police were expelled by the Boys and other minor fan groups in the Boulogne stand during a game against Caen in 1993. Incidents occurred wherever PSG travelled, and only multiplied with the emergence of the Supras Auteuil in the Autueil stand as a rival to Boulogne's hegemony. Things came to a head in February 2010 shortly after Marseille beat PSG 3–0 at Parc des Princes. PSG supporter Yann Lorence was involved in a violent exchange outside the Parc des Princes between the Boulogne Boys and their counterparts in the Auteuil stand at the other end of the stadium. The 37-year-old was left in a critical condition and hospitalised but was pronounced clinically dead the following month because of the injuries he sustained that night. Lorence's death forced then PSG president Robin Leproux to take action. All season tickets at Parc des Princes were revoked and all ultra groups were exiled in what was known as "Plan Leproux." The incident led to the dissolution of the Supras Auteuil.
The death of Yann Lorence was not even the first in recent memory. Julien Quemener, a Boulogne Boys member, was shot dead by an off-duty policeman during violence following PSG's UEFA Cup tie with Hapoel Tel Aviv in November 2006. During the 2008 Coupe de la Ligue Final, the Boys also unfurled a banner which referred to Lens fans as incestuous, jobless paedophiles. The episode led to the dissolution of the Boulogne Boys. Before "Plan Leproux" came into effect, Parc des Princes was one of the most intimidating stadiums to visit in Europe. The plan made PSG pay the price in terms of atmosphere, with one of Ligue 1's most feared venues now subdued. For their part, many of the remaining supporter groups formed the Collectif Ultras Paris (Paris Ultras Collective or CUP) with the aim of returning to the Parc des Princes.
In early October 2016, after a six-year absence, the club and the CUP first agreed a Parc des Princes return for PSG's 2–0 home win over Bordeaux. The ultras have since been regrouped in the Auteuil end of the stadium. In April 2017, PSG's ultras reportedly damaged areas of Lyon's Parc OL during the 2017 Coupe de la Ligue Final against Monaco. As a result, the French Football League (LFP) hit PSG with a €100,000 fine. In May 2017, PSG supporter groups Lista Nera Paris and Microbes Paris left the CUP. Additionally, the CUP dismissed the Karsud group from its ranks. The groups left in the CUP are the K-Soce Team, Liberte pour les Abonnes, Le Combat Continue, Le Parias and Nautecia. In August 2017, PSG and the CUP reached an agreement to allow the club's Ultras to hold season tickets together in the Auteuil end for the first time since 2010.
Paris Saint-Germain shares an intense rivalry with Olympique de Marseille; matches between the two teams are referred to as Le Classique. The clash is considered France's biggest rivalry, and one of the greatest in club football. At the very least, it is France's most violent. Important security measures are taken to prevent confrontations between the fans, but violent episodes still often occur when the duo meet.
PSG and l'OM remain, along with Saint-Étienne, the only French clubs with a big history pre-millennium. The duo are the only two French clubs to have won major European trophies and were the dominant forces in the land prior to the emergence of Olympique Lyonnais at the start of the millennium. They are also the two most popular clubs in France, and the most followed French clubs outside the country. Both teams are at or near the top of the attendance lists every year as well.
Like all the game's major rivalries, PSG vs. OM extends beyond the pitch. The fixture has a historical, cultural and social importance that makes it more than just a football match. It involves the two largest cities in France: Paris against Marseille, capital against province and north against south.
Tournoi de Paris
Paris Saint-Germain has hosted the Tournoi de Paris, also known as Trophée de Paris, at the Parc des Princes since 1975. The competition was founded in 1957 by former hosts Racing Paris to celebrate their 25th anniversary. The inaugural 1957 edition is considered a precursor of both the Intercontinental Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, and its final match, between Brazilian team Vasco da Gama and current European champions Real Madrid, was dubbed by newspapers as "Europe's best team vs. South America's best team". The tournament in the French capital prompted the creation of the Intercontinental Cup in 1960 as an official, UEFA/CONMEBOL-endorsed European/South American club contest.
Regarded as French football's most prestigious friendly tournament, the Tournoi de Paris was initially held by Racing Paris between 1957 and 1966. It briefly returned in 1973 with new hosts Paris FC, before current hosts Paris Saint-Germain successfully relaunched the competition in 1975. Abandoned in 1993 for financial reasons, PSG revived the Tournoi de Paris in 2010 to commemorate its 40th anniversary. Ahead of the tournament, PSG introduced its official anthem and mascot. Not held in 2011, it was renamed Trophée de Paris in 2012, and featured a single prestigious match. This was the tournament's last edition to date.
Since its inception, the winners have received different trophies. Vasco da Gama won the inaugural Tournoi de Paris in 1957, while Barcelona won the last edition in 2012. Paris Saint-Germain is the most successful club in the competition's history, having lifted the trophy on seven occasions. Belgian outfit Anderlecht is next on the title count with three, while fellow French club Racing Paris and Brazilian sides Santos and Fluminense are the only other teams to have won the competition more than once. PSG arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille is among a group of clubs to have won the tournament once.
Ownership and finances
Paris Saint-Germain are today the city's largest club by far. Currently, they have the sixth-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual revenue of €486.2m, and are the world's eleventh most valuable football club, worth €775m. Throughout its history, though, the club has rarely been profitable.
Supported by a group of wealthy businessmen, as well as the capital's media and 20,000 subscribers, the club grew quickly and the Red-and-Blues were Ligue 2 winners in their first year of existence. However, in 1972 the club split into two. One branch joined CA Montreuil and continued in Ligue 1 under the name of Paris FC, while PSG assumed amateur status and had to restart in Division 3. PSG really took flight in 1973, when fashion designer Daniel Hechter took over the club. A year later, PSG returned to Ligue 1.
In January 1978, Hechter was banned for life from football by the French Football Federation following a double ticketing scandal at the Parc des Princes. Francis Borelli replaced him as PSG president and the club's first trophies arrived: two consecutive Coupe de France titles (1982, 1983) and a league championship (1986). Competition for recognition as the capital's No1 sporting entity came from Matra Racing between 1984 and 1989, and PSG went into decline.
Canal+'s takeover in 1991 revitalised the club with star signings (Valdo, David Ginola, George Weah, Raí, Youri Djorkaeff) that ensured several trophies (most notably the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1996). However, PSG's form slowly declined and eventually, a split from owners Canal+ became inevitable. In 2006, Canal+ sold PSG to investment firms Colony NorthStar, Butler Capital Partners and Morgan Stanley for €41m. In 2009, Colony bought out Morgan's shares to become 95% owners, with Butler retaining a 5% stake in the club.
Stability finally came back to PSG in 2011, when the club was purchased by Oryx Qatar Sports Investments after two solid years under president Robin Leproux. QSi bought a controlling 70% of the shares and became the majority shareholder of PSG. Colony (29%) and Butler (1%) remained minority shareholders. The deal, worth €50m, covered €15–20m in debt and €19m in losses from the 2010–11 season. QSi chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi became PSG's new president. In 2012, QSi purchased the remaining 30% stake for €30m to become the club's sole shareholder. Prior to the Qatar buyout PSG had recorded losses for over a decade. The year before, the club recorded a loss of $37m.
The takeover made Paris Saint-Germain not only the richest club in France but one of the wealthiest in the world. QSi pledged to form a team capable of winning the UEFA Champions League and making the club France's biggest name. Big money signings Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Edinson Cavani and David Luiz arrived in the club, though not without consequences. In May 2014, UEFA punished PSG for violating Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. Most notably, FFP sanctions included a €60m fine, amongst other sporting and financial measures. In September 2015, UEFA lifted the restrictions imposed on the Parisian club.
In August 2017, the capital club activated the €222m release clause of Barcelona player Neymar, making him the most expensive transfer in football history. Later that month, PSG signed Kylian Mbappé from AS Monaco on loan with an option to buy for €180m that could make him the second-most expensive player in the world. As a result, UEFA opened a new FFP investigation into PSG.
- As of the 2017–18 season.
|Domestic||Ligue 1||7||1985–86, 1993–94, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18|
|Coupe de France||12||1981–82, 1982–83, 1992–93, 1994–95, 1997–98, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18|
|Coupe de la Ligue||8||1994–95, 1997–98, 2007–08, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18|
|Trophée des Champions||7||1995, 1998, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017|
|European||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||1||1995–96|
|UEFA Intertoto Cup||1||2001|
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|General Manager||Jean-Claude Blanc|
|Sporting director||Antero Henrique|
|Technical director||Carles Romagosa|
|Assistant managers||Arno Michels
|Goalkeeping coach||Javier Garcia|
|Physical trainer||Rainer Schrey|
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