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Inside PSG Locker Room Drama

When Will the Beef Stop for French Powerhouse?

From departures to transfers, from rumors to quarrels. Despite boasting top superstars such as Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Ramos and Neymar Jr., we have all witnessed how the squad from Parc des Princes has been struggling with an internal crisis lately.

With the team 90 minutes away from officially being eliminated in the second leg of the UCL’s Round of 16 fixture, things seem not to be improving.

Paris Saint-Germain's French head coach Christophe Galtier
Paris Saint-Germain's French head coach Christophe Galtier - Franck Fife / AFP

When it comes to “inner peace” for the Ligue 1 mega club, reality dictates that it is almost null as troubled waters remain a thing inside its locker room.

After a one of a kind, if not one of the worst goalkeeping performances in the club’s history, PSG is not in a good place.

Add to that a possible exit from Lionel Messi, aka this year’s FIFA Best Player in the World, and minimum results from head coach Christophe Galtier, and what do you get? A Parisian team that’s getting weaker, with low chances of surviving its 2nd leg game against Bayern Munich. From the back to the front, let’s review some of the main problems we can point out when judging the Parisian squad.

Let’s check the latest Soccer picks, stats, injury reports, and Soccer predictions. We’ve got plenty of Soccer expert picks for you to consider.

Worth One Million a Month?

Paris Saint-Germain's Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (L) reacts after a goal scored by Bayern Munich's
PSG’s Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (L) reacts after a goal scored by Bayern Munich’s – Franck Fife / AFP

With the arrival of Galtier, Gianluigi Donnarumma now holds a starting position after earning clarity and trust from his coach. Despite the competition between the Italian and three-time UCL champion Keylor Navas, the two goalkeepers always had a good relationship.

The young Italian goalkeeper, who arrived at PSG during the 2021 offseason from AC Milan and was named the Euro 2022 player of the tournament, has emerged this season as the team’s clear number one, cementing said status after Navas’ departure.

The Costa Rican, who left for English Premier League squad Nottingham Forest, had been limited to cup games this year, while Donnarumma was established in the starting lineup.

Considered a high-profile transfer and commanding a very significant salary of approximately $13 million a year (close to $300k a week) Donnarumma can put some pressure on the team’s budget and may limit its ability to sign other top players.

The 23-year-old has been the subject of criticism for poor performances due to constant tactical and fundamental errors during the last months.

Donnarumma’s inconsistencies in his ground game skills have been generating a serious lack of confidence between the defensive line and the goalkeeper.

In modern soccer, it’s a well-known fact that some of the best attacks and offensive plays come from the most effective defensive strategies and defensive player performances. Donnarumma’s shortcomings (ex. on deep goal kicks, lacking velocity) are hindering the team’s ability on the counterattack.

The goalkeeper is considered the first offensive player of any team, a situation that’s not reflected in the Parisian squad’s performance at all.

Honestly, it’s hard to understand why the head coach is keeping him as part of the main lineup, Donnarumma is clearly not helping his case and keeps showing a lack of communication towards his teammates on every game that goes by.

Dunnarumma’s reputation was highly affected, in a positive manner, when the Italian press started to refer to him as Gianluigi Buffon’s successor for the Italian national team. At that point, the 17-year-old goalkeeper started to become a trending topic for sure. But you don’t fall for words, you fall for actions. And when it comes to analyzing the numbers behind performances, you realize that Donnarumma represents more of what was said about him than what he actually achieves in every match that goes by.

Messi and Ramos Looking to Stay

Paris Saint-Germain's Spanish defender Sergio Ramos (L) and Paris Saint-Germain's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi
PSG’s Spanish defender Sergio Ramos (L) and PSG’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi – Bertrand Guay / AFP

The upcoming days for Messi and Sergio Ramos are up in the air, as their contracts expire at the end of the current season.

What’s talked about the most is that Messi wants to stay put, but the two parties have yet to reach an agreement. His father and agent met in person with PSG advisor Luis Campos but haven’t struck any sort of deal yet.

As for Ramos, he’s expected to negotiate a new contract with the club during the upcoming days, but his future remains uncertain as PSG has signed Inter’s Milan Skriniar and both players share the same position.

Drama Among the Strikers Line

Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe (L) and Brazilian forward Neymar (R)
PSG’s French forward Kylian Mbappe (L) and Brazilian forward Neymar (R) – Franck Fife / AFP

The season kicked off with serious internal situations full of controversy due to the penalty-taking feud between Mbappe and Neymar Jr. The French phenom allegedly asked the club to transfer the Brazilian star, while reports stress that PSG is not into Neymar’s attitude. Neymar came close to moving to Chelsea, but both teams didn’t make it to an agreement.

But the worst news for the Brazilian came on Feb. 19 during the match against Lillie Olympique, the astro had to leave the field with a visibly painful right ankle injury. Two weeks later Galtier confirmed that Neymar will miss PSG’s crucial UCL match clash against Bayern Munich on March 8.

Following the injury, Kylian Mbappe sent the Brazilian an affectionate and supportive message via social media: “Stay strong, all the team waiting for you very soon. Let’s go brother”. A very kind gesture that demonstrates such sportsmanship and big professionalism despite the internal discrepancies between them.

Star Trio Saving Galtier

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (C) celebrates after opening the scoring with Paris Saint-Germain's Argentine forward Lionel Messi (L) and Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe
PSG’s Brazilian forward Neymar (C) celebrates after opening the scoring with PSG’s Argentine forward Messi (L) and PSG’s French forward Mbappe – Franck Fife / AFP

Mbappe and Neymar scored one each to give PSG a two-goal lead 17 minutes into the first half before Lille turned the game around. Messi netted a god-like free kick to help Paris Saint-Germain snatch a tremendously needed victory at the Parc des Princes.

The match against Lillie Olympique was PSG’s first win in four different games across all competitions. PSG was eliminated by Marseille in Coupe de France, lost 3-1 at Monaco in Ligue 1, and was beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich at the Parc des Princes in the first leg game of the Round of 16 in the Champions League.

Another defeat could prove costly for coach Galtier since he has been at the receiving end of constant criticism, with Zinedine Zidane emerging once more as his potential successor. This will likely be the club’s next step to get back on track and deliver the results one would love to witness with such a star-studded team.

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