Europe still a step too far for dominant PSG

Wed May 7, 2014 6:08pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris St Germain are not even midway through their five-year-plan to win the Champions League but their second consecutive French Ligue 1 title feels like little more than a consolation.

Having splashed over 200 million euros ($278.5 million) on transfers since completing their takeover in 2012, Qatari investors QSI expect PSG to be a force to be reckoned with on the European stage.

Under Carlo Ancelotti and Laurent Blanc, however, the French champions were eliminated in the quarter-finals of Europe's premium club competition in 2013 and 2014, both times on away goals by Barcelona and Chelsea respectively.

"We've had a very nice season, which we sealed with this title," Blanc said after PSG won the League Cup last month.

"But to have an outstanding season, we will need to shine on the European stage," he added.

"The club, the media, the fans and the staff are obsessed by this objective. Yes, we will have to be ready because everybody is obsessed."

"We had a great season apart from the last month. Next year we have to be back to win the Champions League," captain Thiago Silva told Canal Plus on Wednesday.

PSG were knocked out by Barca in the Champions League last season without losing a game, held to a 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes before drawing 1-1 at the Camp Nou in the return leg.   Continued...

Paris St Germain players celebrate on the pitch at the end of their French Ligue 1 soccer match against Stade Rennes at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, May 7, 2014.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier