Paris-Saint Germain continue to struggle in the UEFA Champions League despite domestic dominance

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have reportedly hired a sports psychologist to help the team recover from their repetitive UEFA Champions League failures. In the most recent campaign, they fell to a round-of-16 loss against Real Madrid.

Per L’Equipe via Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Espana), PSG Football Advisor Luis Campos is looking to make sweeping changes across the club. One such aspect that he wants to improve is the mental strength of his players.

The Parisiens were in control of their last-16 UEFA Champions League tie against Los Blancos last season after a 1-0 win at home. Kylian Mbappe’s first-half goal in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu looked to have sealed the tie.

However, a second-half hat-trick from Karim Benzema turned things around for Real Madrid. The Frenchman’s second goal, in particular, had a devastating effect on the Ligue 1 outfit, and they looked defeated even before the scoreline turned against them.

FT | Real Madrid 3-1 PSG (agg. 3-2):Karim Benzema’s hat trick turns the tie on its head as PSG once again crumble when it really matters. Messi invisible, Marquinhos completely at sea. Kylian Mbappé’s brilliance not enough this time.

PSG have now taken the step of hiring a sports psychologist to help its players overcome the mental barrier that continues to ward them off European glory.

What transpired in last season’s UEFA Champions League wasn’t an anomaly for the French side, but a mere continuation of the pattern. It was the fourth time in the last six seasons that they exited during the last-16 stage.

One cannot forget their capitulation against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United during the same stage of the competition in 2019. They led the tie 2-0 after a dominant showing at Old Trafford.

However, a Neymar-less PSG succumbed to a 3-1 scoreline at the Parc des Princes and went on to lose the tie on away goals.

Casemiro claims Real Madrid could sign Neymar if he leaves PSG

Neymar’s future at PSG has been cast under a shadow of doubt this summer amid reports that he could leave the Ligue 1 giants. According to 90min, Christophe Galtier’s side could cash in on the 30-year-old winger, with Real Madrid named as a potential suitor.

The 14-time Champions League winners have famously tried to sign Neymar in the past. Now, his compatriot Casemiro claims that he is welcome to join Real Madrid if the French giants consider him expendable. He told SporTV:

“Neymar can play for any team in the world. If PSG don’t want him, Real Madrid want him. Okay?”

Carlo Ancelotti’s side missed out on signing Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland this summer. The former renewed his contract to stay in Paris until 2025, while the latter joined Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

It remains to be seen if Madrid will pay heed to Casemiro’s words and put in an offer for the former Barcelona forward. He won’t be cheap, however, and his injury record during his time in France has done him no favors.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava


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