From a constellation of eminent luminaries to a galaxy of super stars - How have PSG evolved since the takeover by Qatar Sports Investment?

Messi Neymar Mbappe PSG 2021-09-28(C)Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain were perennial underachievers in French football. Before the takeover by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), established in 2005 by the son of the Emir and heir to the Qatari throne, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, they had won just two Ligue 1 titles in their history.

In 2011, after the Qatari investment, there was another revolution in Paris, as seismic as the French Revolution back in 1789. From Bastille, the hot seat of action changed to Parc des Princes which is barely 12km apart in the city of Paris. And this time it shook the entire European footballing ecosystem.

Argentinian international midfielder Javier Pastore was signed for a French football record fee of €45m and it was a statement that matched the intent and purpose of Sheikh Mansour's £32m signing of Robinho when he bought Manchester City in 2008.

Apart from Pastore, Blaise Matuidi, Salvatore Sirigu, Maxwell and Kevin Gameiro were also brought in to reinforce the squad. They were luminaries who formed a formidable constellation but were far from the galactic empire that PSG wanted to establish.

Hence in the next season, they signed the likes of Marco Verratti, Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and even David Beckham to make a global footprint and fuel the ambition of winning the UEFA Champions League. Although they are yet to win the holy grail of European football, they have not left any stone unturned in the transfer market in their pursuit of success.

From signing Neymar Jr for a world record fee of €222m, extending Kylan Mbappe's contract with an astronomical wage package, to luring Leo Messi from FC Barcelona; the PSG top brass has given their all. From a side which could barely compete in Ligue 1 to winning eight titles in a span of 11 years, they have evolved to become a gargantuan powerhouse. Goal takes a look at the 2011 side that started in the first match of Ligue 1 against FC Lorient and the one that played the last in 2021-22 with FC Metz.

  • Sirigu donnarumma

    Goalkeeper: Salvatore Sirigu (2011) & Gianluigi Donnarumma (2022)

  • Jallet & Hakimi

    Right Back: Christophe Jallet (2011) & Achraf Hakimi (2022)

  • Bisevac & Ramos

    Centre Back: Milan Bisevac (2011) & Sergio Ramos (2022)

  • Sakho & Marquinhos

    Centre Back: Mamdou Sakho (2011) vs Marquinhos (2022)

  • Tiene & Kimpembe

    Left-Back: Siaka Tiene (2011) & Presnel Kimpembe (2022)

  • Matuidi & Pereira

    Defensive Midfielder: Blaise Matuidi (2011) & Danilo Pereira (2022)

  • Chantome verratti

    Defensive Midfielder: Clemente Chantome (2011) & Marco Verratti (2022)

  • Menez Di Maria

    Right Midfield: Jeremy Menez (2011) & Angel Di Maria (2022)

  • Gameiro & Messi

    Attacking Midfield: Kevin Gameiro (2011) & Lionel Messi (2022)

  • Nene Neymar

    Left Midfield: Nene (2011) & Neymar (2022)

  • Hoarau & Mbappe

    Striker: Guillaume Hoarau (2011) & Kylian Mbappe (2022)