When on Tuesday, theto elimination of Real Madrid in the round of 16 of the Champions, the eleven with which Ajax culminated his feat showed an average age of 23 years. The same figure that resulted from the equipment with which Manchester United sent Paris Saint Germain to the canvas. In less than 24 hours, the most successful club in the competition and the most economically powerful were beaten by the talent of youth, and the youthful enthusiasm with which United played, full of reserves.
In the case of PSG, the elimination has revealed that behind the mega-investments -1,150 million euros spent on transfers since 2011-, the sports structure is not in line with that of a club that aspires to reign in Europe. According to sources close to PSG, the goal set for Thomas Tuchel in the Champions was to reach, at least, the semifinals. Since the club is owned by the royal family of Qatar, the roof has been the quarterfinals reached in the period 2012-2016. Since then, Barcelona, Real Madrid and United have ended PSG's European career in the last 16.
Analysts and market agents describe a "club built on a fantasy", in which dizzying paid transfers and high salaries are the only attraction to attract and retain their stars. The resounding and thunderous bump on Wednesday has placed on the table the errors in sports planning, also limited by the excess of spending that has put the club under suspicion of financial doping. The result is an unbalanced template that blames the sporting director, the Portuguese Antero Enrique. The relation of this with Tuchel is presided over by the coldness and the distrust.
The analyzes point to a position as decisive as that of the midfielder to explain the problem that has posed the threat of a possible sanction for breaking the fair play financial support. Marquinhos, a converted center, has played that role because the club was not able in the summer to hire a solvent player for the position. To this we must add that Lo Celso was loaned to Betis and Rabiot was removed from the club for refusing to renew. During the winter market, the Argentine Leandro Paredes arrived for 45 million euros. Neither in Old Trafford nor in the Parc des Princes this last acquisition was part of the eleven holder.
Replacing Neymar, who missed the last 16 of the last course and this one for his injuries, is complex. But neither has there been an alternative to replace Edison Cavani. On Wednesday, the solution was to play center forward Kylian Mbappé, position in which he finds less freedom to exploit his best virtue: speed with spaces ahead. With 20 years, the boy is the support and the icon of a project with more millions than structure to give him solidity.