PSG has crashed out of the Champions League … Whats next for them?

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PSG latest Champions League exit is likely to set in motion major changes after the club fell short of its ultimate aim for the second time.

Messi continues Real Madrid drought as PSG crash out of the Champions League  | Goal.com

PSG lost in the final 16 of a competition they adore for the fourth time in six seasons, finding new ways to lose a contest they dominated against Real Madrid, the 13-time European champions.

Wednesday’s gentle downfall from a position of strength, while less spectacular than the 2017 implosion against Barcelona at Camp Nou, highlighted the enduring fragility of a squad traumatized by previous failures.

It was also a setback that could mean the end of Kylian Mbappe’s tenure in Paris, with his contract expiring in July and a dream move to Real Madrid looking increasingly likely.

The France international scored in both games, and Madrid trailed 2-0 on aggregate before Karim Benzema’s 17-minute hat-trick stunned PSG.

PSG meltdown justifies two Pep Guardiola tactics in Man City's Champions  League campaign - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News

After being defeated in the 2020 final against Bayern Munich by one of their own, Paris-born Kingsley Coman, the much-hyped arrival of Lionel Messi was intended to be the missing piece of the jigsaw.

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But it hasn’t occurred for the Argentine, who was triumphantly paraded by PSG after winning his seventh Ballon d’Or in December but has seemed a shadow of the man who ruled Barcelona.

His missed penalty in the first leg should have been forgotten, but the way Mbappe, Messi, and Neymar were virtually taken out of the game once Madrid equalized on the night at the Santiago Bernabeu assured it wouldn’t.

The following few months will be a time for soul-searching after another season of unfulfilled ambitions, with only the league to focus on for the balance of the season.

“It will be difficult because Paris Saint-goal Germain’s is to win the Champions League.” “It’s been that for a long time,” PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino stated. “We’re quite dissatisfied and unhappy. It won’t be simple to get rid of this feeling in the coming days.”

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In the referee’s dressing room, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Leonardo launched an enraged diatribe, but Pochettino is the one who is most likely to suffer the consequence.

“You can lose against Real Madrid because they’re one of the finest teams in the world,” remarked the former Tottenham manager, “but the way it happened is difficult to accept.”

With a win over Madrid, PSG hoped to persuade Mbappe, a generational prospect, to sign a new contract.

Instead, PSG wilted, nearly accepting their fate, and Mbappe was forced to watch his pal Benzema bask in the adoration of the Madrid faithful. There will undoubtedly be more discussion about Zinedine Zidane’s possible hiring, but if Mbappe leaves, the club will be further away from European glory than it has been in previous years.

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Mbappe’s arrival in 2017 coincided with the world-record signing of Neymar, who has had a string of ailments in the capital at inopportune times.

PSG were generally touted to genuinely fight for the Champions League after a busy summer of acquisitions that included Messi, Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos, and Georginio Wijnaldum, and with Neymar back fit.

But it wasn’t to be, as Donnarumma, who has alternating starts with Keylor Navas, was pushed into making the mistake that led to PSG’s demise, as crucial players were found wanting when it mattered most.

Marquinhos, who is normally trustworthy, unwittingly set up Benzema for his third goal just 11 seconds after PSG re-kicked off, as the visitors collapsed with shocking ease.

“We were in a good position to proceed in the Champions League, and we believed we could win it with this squad,” Leonardo stated. “We must always examine and analyze why things happen the way they do. However, we must take time to reflect and move forward.”

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