From a constellation of eminent luminaries to a galaxy of super stars - How have PSG evolved since the takeover by Qatar Sports Investment?

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Messi Neymar Mbappe PSG 2021-09-28
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Goal compares the PSG starting line-up of 2011 to that of 2022

Paris Saint-Germain were perennial underachievers in French football. Before the takeover by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), established in 2005 by the son of the Emir and heir to the Qatari throne, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, they had won just two Ligue 1 titles in their history.

In 2011, after the Qatari investment, there was another revolution in Paris, as seismic as the French Revolution back in 1789. From Bastille, the hot seat of action changed to Parc des Princes which is barely 12km apart in the city of Paris. And this time it shook the entire European footballing ecosystem.

Argentinian international midfielder Javier Pastore was signed for a French football record fee of €45m and it was a statement that matched the intent and purpose of Sheikh Mansour's £32m signing of Robinho when he bought Manchester City in 2008.

Apart from Pastore, Blaise Matuidi, Salvatore Sirigu, Maxwell and Kevin Gameiro were also brought in to reinforce the squad. They were luminaries who formed a formidable constellation but were far from the galactic empire that PSG wanted to establish.

Hence in the next season, they signed the likes of Marco Verratti, Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and even David Beckham to make a global footprint and fuel the ambition of winning the UEFA Champions League. Although they are yet to win the holy grail of European football, they have not left any stone unturned in the transfer market in their pursuit of success.

From signing Neymar Jr for a world record fee of €222m, extending Kylan Mbappe's contract with an astronomical wage package, to luring Leo Messi from FC Barcelona; the PSG top brass has given their all. From a side which could barely compete in Ligue 1 to winning eight titles in a span of 11 years, they have evolved to become a gargantuan powerhouse. Goal takes a look at the 2011 side that started in the first match of Ligue 1 against FC Lorient and the one that played the last in 2021-22 with FC Metz.

  1. Goalkeeper: Salvatore Sirigu (2011) & Gianluigi Donnarumma (2022)

    Goalkeeper: Salvatore Sirigu (2011) & Gianluigi Donnarumma (2022)

  2. Right Back: Christophe Jallet (2011) & Achraf Hakimi (2022)

    Right Back: Christophe Jallet (2011) & Achraf Hakimi (2022)

  3. Centre Back: Milan Bisevac (2011) & Sergio Ramos (2022)

    Centre Back: Milan Bisevac (2011) & Sergio Ramos (2022)

  4. Centre Back: Mamdou Sakho (2011) vs Marquinhos (2022)

    Centre Back: Mamdou Sakho (2011) vs Marquinhos (2022)

  5. Left-Back: Siaka Tiene (2011) & Presnel Kimpembe (2022)

    Left-Back: Siaka Tiene (2011) & Presnel Kimpembe (2022)

  6. Defensive Midfielder: Blaise Matuidi (2011) & Danilo Pereira (2022)

    Defensive Midfielder: Blaise Matuidi (2011) & Danilo Pereira (2022)

  7. Defensive Midfielder: Clemente Chantome (2011) & Marco Verratti (2022)

    Defensive Midfielder: Clemente Chantome (2011) & Marco Verratti (2022)

  8. Right Midfield: Jeremy Menez (2011) & Angel Di Maria (2022)

    Right Midfield: Jeremy Menez (2011) & Angel Di Maria (2022)

  9. Attacking Midfield: Kevin Gameiro (2011) & Lionel Messi (2022)

    Attacking Midfield: Kevin Gameiro (2011) & Lionel Messi (2022)

  10. Left Midfield: Nene (2011) & Neymar (2022)

    Left Midfield: Nene (2011) & Neymar (2022)

  11. Striker: Guillaume Hoarau (2011) & Kylian Mbappe (2022)

    Striker: Guillaume Hoarau (2011) & Kylian Mbappe (2022)