The big calls that shaped Europe’s elite: How PSG made it to the top

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Every fan has the right to make their voice heard, wherever they are in the world.

And Socios.com offers you the chance to do exactly that. A first-of-its-kind mobile app for football fans, Socios gets you closer to the team you love by allowing you – the superfan – to vote on club-specific decisions through Fan Tokens.

Fan Tokens are digital assets that give you the power to influence the decisions of your favourite teams.

One Fan Token is all a fan needs, allowing them to participate in every poll. Fans can also put their skills to the test against other fans from around the world in games, competitions and quizzes, competing in global leaderboards and earning real-life and digital club-related accolades, benefits and experiences along the way on Socios.com. 

Fans can also access exclusive content and experience Socios.com’s geo-location, augmented reality feature ‘Token Hunt’.

Paris Saint-Germain are one of over 70 massive clubs on the Socios.com app, which also features the likes of Juve, Barca, Inter, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid as well as Arsenal, City, Everton, Leeds and Villa from the Premier League.

Now that fans have the chance to make the calls at their clubs, we’ve decided to start a series looking back on the big decisions that shaped today’s footballing elite - starting with PSG.  Below, Goal looks back on the five major decisions Les Parisiens made that helped transform them into the superpower they are today.

  1. Le Parc des Princes
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    Enlisting the help of Santiago Bernabeu to form the club

    There are few more iconic names in the world of football than that of Santiago Bernabeu, whose legendary status is such that the stadium of Real Madrid – perhaps the most iconic club in the world – bears his name.

    But it is not just in the Spanish capital where Bernabeu’s hand has had a profound legacy in the game. He was also involved in the formation of PSG, playing an important role simply to get the club off the ground.

    Born when the newly formed Paris Football Club was merged with Stade Saint-Germain in 1970, PSG were designed to provide the French capital with a formidable footballing force.

    PSG was the brainchild of Guy Crescent, Pierre-Etienne Guyot and Henri Patrelle, but the trio were concerned about the financial viability of the club. They approached Bernabeu for advice and he told them to start a crowdfunding campaign, which ultimately proved successful and formed the origins of PSG as we know the club today.

  2. Jay-Jay Okocha PSG
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    Having fashion designer Daniel Hechter design an iconic shirt

    PSG has long been an iconic footballing brand. They were once instantly recognisable due to their distinctive logo, which contained the Eiffel Tower to represent Paris, and the fleur de lys and Louis XIV’s cradle, representing Saint-Germain.

    More striking, though, was the club’s unique shirt. The classic PSG jersey – one to which the fans have a remarkable attachment – consists primarily of blue, with two vertical bands of white flanking one of red in the centre.

    No other club in the world can boast such a shirt, making PSG tops both identifiable and stylish. 

    Such a shirt is fitting for a club with its home in one of the fashion capitals of the world, and indeed it was conceived by Daniel Hechter, a French designer who took over the presidency of the club in 1973 and gave this shirt design as his welcoming gift.

    The ‘Hechter shirt’ as it’s known, has become the definitive PSG look, helping to build the iconic brand that has attracted record investment in recent years.

  3. George Weah PSG
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    Signing George Weah

    The arrival of George Weah in 1992 from Monaco provided the trigger that saw PSG enjoy their first golden age in the mid-90s. During that spell, they reached five consecutive European semi-finals, including a first Champions League final four.

    Weah was to the fore of many of their most important moments during this remarkable period in which the Parc des Princes would crackle with excitement on European evenings. 

    An early highlight was bouncing back from a 3-1 first-leg deficit away to Real Madrid in the UEFA Cup by winning 4-1 after extra-time in Paris, with Weah bagging the opener. The Liberian then notched the only goal in the Bernabeu the following year as PSG again ousted Los Blancos, this time in the Cup Winners’ Cup.

    In 1994-95, PSG completed the incredible achievement of winning all six games in a Champions League ‘Group of Death’ that included Bayern Munich, Spartak Moscow and a highly accomplished Dynamo Kyiv. Weah struck a historic solo goal away to Bayern during that run. Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona ‘Dream Team’ were then dispatched but AC Milan proved too good in the semi-finals.

    Nevertheless, it was clear that Weah had elevated PSG and he ultimately won the Ballon d’Or in 1995, so far the only player to have played a portion of the year with the Parisian club before lifting that prize.

  4. Thiago Silva PSG Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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    Recruiting Thiago Silva and Ibra in a watershed summer

    The summer of 2012 was when PSG announced themselves as a continental force in Europe once again, aided by the backing of their new owners.

    QSI had taken command of the club a year earlier, adding Javier Pastore from Palermo in a much-publicised deal. However, this was quickly pushed into the shadows as PSG completed two massive signings in the form of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, both of whom joined from AC Milan and would become icons at the club.

    Thiago Silva’s composure and quality in the centre of defence over nearly a decade at the club would underpin PSG’s European rise, while the mercurial presence of Ibrahimovic offered them both more media visibility and on-field ability than they previously boasted.

    Thiago Silva has gone on to be a defensive legend at Parc des Princes, while Ibrahimovic became the club’s all-time leading scorer in just four seasons – a tally since surpassed by Edinson Cavani.

  5. Mbappe Neymar Messi PSG
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    Hitting new heights with Neymar, Mbappe and Messi deals

    PSG’s motto for the last decade has been ‘Dream Bigger’ and in recent years they have done just that, completing a trio of unprecedented deals.

    They smashed the world transfer record in 2017 by buying out Neymar’s contract at Barcelona for a staggering €222 million – a sum that no one thought possible – and later that same summer captured Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for another nine-figure fee. They remain the two biggest transfers in football history.

    Meanwhile, another remarkable piece of business was completed in 2021 as they acted quickly to snap up Lionel Messi from Barcelona after the Argentinian’s contract expired at Camp Nou. PSG showed their attractiveness to the greatest players by acting decisively to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, who had never previously featured for any club side other than Barca. They now hope ‘MNM’ will push them to Champions League glory.

    PSG is part of Socios.com, the creators of Fan Tokens, along with 70+ other elite teams including Juventus, Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter Milan, City, Arsenal, Everton, Leeds and Villa with many more to come.

    Influence your team, access VIP rewards, exclusive promotions and join a global community of superfans at Socios.com