May 17, 2021

Champions League: Neymar holds PSG | sports

Champions League: Neymar holds PSG | sports

Paris Saint-Germain had to win to continue relying on their multimillion-dollar aspirations to conquer the Champions League this season and so did Liverpool (2-1) in a tight duel until the end of the game they solved in the first half two players questioned by the French fans, the Spanish side Juan Bernat, author of the first goal, and the great Brazilian star, Neymar, decisive for the first time with the Parisian shirt in a European meeting since his signing by 222 million in the summer of 2017 coming from Barça.

Any other result would have led to the crisis at the club chaired by the Qatari Sheik Nasser Al Khelaïfi. A draw or defeat against the finalist of the last tournament would have meant a premature elimination in the group stage of the Champions League. But this triumph, built on the basis of the speed of the trident Neymar-Cavani-Mbappé keeps alive their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages. For this, the PSG must get at least a draw at the stadium of the Red Star of Belgrade on the sixth and final day, although Liverpool wins the Napoli, because of the particular difference between the two clubs.

From the last finalist of the Champions, there were crumbs in the Parc des Princes. Overcome by the speed of Mbappé and Neymar, the two Parisian arrows, those of Klopp lost the thread of the match from the first quarter of an hour, conceded a goal of rebound that propitiated Verratti and Mbappé in the axis of the defense and that Bernat finished, opportunist. The second goal of the game, led by Neymar this time, affirmed the dominance of the local team led by the German Thomas Tuchel, who multiplied the strategies, changing the game system almost every 10 minutes, going from three to four defenders, something that ended for upsetting Liverpool in the first half. Only a penalty shot by his captain James Milner allowed him to stay alive in the game.

The victory is an oxygen pump for Paris Saint-Germain, which has been in the eye of a hurricane called Football Leaks all month. These wide-ranging journalistic revelations, obtained thanks to the filtering of millions of confidential files on the dark side of business in world football, first pointed to the alleged political-economic fights of the club chaired by the Qatari Sheikh Nasser Al Khelaïfi with UEFA and its then leader, Frenchman Michel Platini (2007-2015), to prevent the PSG from being excluded from the Champions League for altering the rules of financial fair play. In the spotlight of the investigators appear the millionaire contracts of sponsorships with Qatari companies that doparían the budget of the Parisian club and the overwhelming signings of soccer stars (like Cavani, Di Maria, Neymar or Mbappé) since the arrival of the emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in 2011. The scandal was unveiled on November 2, four and a half months after the Parisian entity was acquitted in the first instance, on June 13, by UEFA through a minimum economic agreement that forced the PSG to lower their sponsorship contracts and to sell several of their players in the last transfer market (the Basque Yuri Berchiche went to Athletic for 24 million euros and the Argentine Javier Pastore committed to the Italian club of Rome for 25 millions).

Despite his attempts to stifle the fire of controversy by the fair-play The financial crisis, which was reactivated following UEFA's decision on September 24 to reopen a "more in-depth" investigation into the Paris accounts, Al Khelafi and its CEO, the Frenchman Jean-Claude Blanc, had to face another focus of tension around the club of the French capital, product of a case of ethnic registration in the ranks of their youth teams. This time, the revelations of Football Leaks pointed out that the PSG relied on an illegal archive to differentiate the young players according to their ethnic origin. A discriminatory practice that made the Al Khelafi club be investigated by the Paris prosecutor's office since November 19.

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