Paris Saint-Germain F.C.
Paris Saint-Germain Football Club (French pronunciation: [paʁi sɛ̃ ʒɛʁmɛ̃]), commonly referred to as Paris Saint-Germain, Paris SG, or simply Paris or PSG, is a professional football club based in Paris, France. They compete in Ligue 1, the top division of French football. PSG are France's most successful club, having won more than 40 official honours, including nine league titles and one major European trophy. Their home ground is the Parc des Princes.
|Full name||Paris Saint-Germain Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||Les Parisiens (The Parisians)|
Les Rouge et Bleu (The Red and Blues)
|Short name||PSG, Paris SG, Paris|
|Founded||12 August 1970|
|Ground||Parc des Princes|
|Owner||Qatar Sports Investments|
|Head coach||Mauricio Pochettino|
|2020–21||Ligue 1, 2nd of 20|
|Active departments of|
|Football (Men's)||Football (Youth Mixed)||Football (Women's)|
|Handball (Men's)||Esports||Judo (Mixed)|
|Closed departments of|
|Boxing (Men's)||Rugby League (Men's)|
Founded in 1970, the Parisians won their first major honour, the French Cup, in 1982 and their first Ligue 1 title in 1986. The 1990s was among the most successful periods in PSG's history; they claimed a second league, three French Cups, two League Cups, two French Super Cups and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1996. After suffering a decline in fortunes during the 2000s, the Red and Blues have enjoyed a revival since 2011 with increased financial backing; they have clinched seven league titles and twenty national cups, achieving unparalleled dominance in domestic competitions. In 2020, the club reached the UEFA Champions League final for the first time, losing to Bayern Munich.
PSG are the club with most consecutive seasons playing in the top-flight and one of only two French clubs to have won a major European title. They are also the most popular football club in France and one of the most widely supported teams in the world. PSG's home kit colours are red, blue and white. The club's crest features the Eiffel Tower and a fleur de lys. PSG have a long-standing rivalry with Olympique de Marseille. The duo contest French football's most notorious match, known as Le Classique.
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani owns PSG through closed shareholders Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), which purchased the club in 2011. The takeover made PSG the richest club in France and one of the wealthiest in the world. As of the 2019–20 season, PSG have the seventh-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual revenue of €541m according to Deloitte, and are the world's ninth most valuable football club, worth $2.5bn according to Forbes.
Paris Saint-Germain Football Club was founded on 12 August 1970 after the merger of Paris Football Club and Stade Saint-Germain. PSG made an immediate impact, winning promotion to Ligue 1 and claiming the Ligue 2 title in their first season. Their momentum was soon checked, however, and the club split in 1972. Paris FC remained in Ligue 1, while PSG were administratively relegated to Division 3. PSG got their revenge in 1974 when they returned to Ligue 1 and Paris FC slipped into the division below. The club also moved into the Parc des Princes that same year.
The club's trophy cabinet welcomed its first major silverware in the shape of the Coupe de France in 1982, during a decade marked by players such as Safet Sušić, Luis Fernández, Dominique Baratelli and Dominique Rocheteau. PSG claimed their maiden league title in 1986, only to decline in subsequent seasons. But a takeover by television giants Canal+ revitalised the club and PSG entered their golden era. Led by David Ginola, George Weah and Raí, the club won nine trophies during the 1990s. Most notably, the Parisians claimed a second league title in 1994 and their crowning glory, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1996.
At the start of the 21st century, PSG struggled to rescale the heights despite the magic of Ronaldinho and the goals of Pauleta. Five more trophies arrived in the form of three Coupe de France, one Coupe de la Ligue and one UEFA Intertoto Cup, but the club became better known for lurching from one high-profile crisis to another. Indeed, Paris Saint-Germain spent two seasons staving off relegations that were only very narrowly avoided.
This changed in 2011 with the arrival of new majority shareholders Qatar Sports Investments (QSI). Since the buyout, PSG have signed several stars like Zlatan Ibrahimović, Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, and have dominated French football, winning seven of the last eight Ligue 1 titles. The club has become a regular in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, but has yet to win it. Since 2012, PSG has reached the round of 16 each season, and has advanced on to the quarter-finals on five occasions. In 2020, PSG achieved a breakthrough, advancing to the Champions League final for the first time ever, where they lost to Bayern Munich 0–1.
Colours and mascot
Since their foundation, Paris Saint-Germain have represented both the city of Paris and the nearby royal town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. As a result, red, blue and white are the club's traditional colours. The red and blue are Parisian colours, a nod to revolutionary figures Lafayette and Jean Sylvain Bailly, and the white is a symbol of French royalty and Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
On the club's crest, the Eiffel Tower in red and the blue background represent Paris, while the fleur de lys in white is a hint to the coat of arms of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The fleur de lys is a royal symbol as well and recalls that French King Louis XIV was born in the town. Throughout its history, PSG have brandished several crests, but all of them have featured the club's three historical colours.
Likewise, PSG's most iconic shirts have been predominantly red, blue or white, with the remaining two colours included as well. The club's official mascot, Germain the Lynx, also sports PSG's traditional colours. It was unveiled during the 2010 Tournoi de Paris in commemoration of the club's 40th anniversary, and can be seen entertaining kids in the stands of the Parc des Princes or near the pitch with the players during the warm-up.
Anthems and mottos
"Allez Paris!," recorded by Belgian actress and singer Annie Cordy in 1971, was the club's first official anthem. A PSG fan from the start, she was part of an association of hundreds of celebrities who contributed to the club's foundation in 1970. The club's second anthem, "Allez Paris-Saint-Germain!" by Les Parisiens, was recorded in 1977, replacing Cordy's version. An initiative of historical PSG leader and music producer Charles Talar, he produced and released it under his homonym record label. The song's chorus became a popular chant among PSG supporters during games. A new version, also called "Allez Paris-Saint-Germain!," was recorded in 2010 as part of the club's 40th anniversary celebrations. Sung to the tune of "Go West" by Village People, the lyrics were rewritten with suggestions made by fans. This is the club's current official anthem.
"Ô Ville Lumière" ("Oh City of Light"), to the tune of "Flower of Scotland," is another veritable club anthem for PSG supporters. PSG gave it official status in 2015 when the club announced it would accompany the players' entry into the field, a tradition which began in 1992 with the song "Who Said I Would" by Phil Collins. Supporters' groups from the Boulogne and Auteuil stands also have several chants, most notably "Le Parc est à nous" ("The Parc is ours"), "Paris est magique!" ("Paris is magical!") and "Ici c'est Paris!" ("This is Paris!"). Both stands began exchanging these chants during PSG matches in the 1990s. "Paris est magique!" and "Ici c'est Paris!" are also the club's most iconic mottos or slogans.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paris Saint-Germain FC kits.|
During their first three seasons of existence, the home shirt of Paris Saint-Germain was red with blue and white details in its sleeves and neck to bring together the three colours of the club: the red and blue of Paris, and the white of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. During the 2010–11 season, PSG wore a red shirt during home matches to commemorate their 40th anniversary.
The connection between Paris Saint-Germain and the city's fashion houses is a longstanding one. French fashion designer Daniel Hechter became PSG president in 1973 and designed the club's traditional home look that same year: a blue shirt with a red vertical stripe flanked by two thinner white stripes (blue-white-red-white-blue). First worn in the 1973–74 season, the so-called "Hechter shirt" has remained the classic home identity of PSG ever since.
The famous jersey made its debut during a home Ligue 2 game against Red Star on November 10, 1973. This was also the club's maiden match at the Parc des Princes. PSG won 3–1 as Othniel Dossevi scored the club's first goal at the stadium as well as the first with the Hechter shirt. PSG stars from the 1990s and 2000s like Raí, Ronaldinho and Pauleta are associated with this kit. While wearing it, the capital club reached five European semi-finals in a row between 1993 and 1997, claimed the 1995–96 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and achieved eight consecutive wins against Le Classique arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille between 2002 and 2004.
The general belief is that Hechter based his creation on the red-and-white jersey worn by Ajax, the dominant team in Europe at the time, but with the French flag in mind. Hechter himself has denied this, though, instead claiming he was inspired by the Ford Mustang. He transposed the car's hood stripes on the shirt and employed the three colors of the club. The Hechter shirt has two alternate versions: the "reversed Hechter" (red-white-blue-white-red), introduced in the 1974–75 season, and the "white Hechter" (white-blue-red-blue-white), which premiered in the 1994–95 season.
It was with the club's most iconic away outfit, though, that fans saw the first big PSG team which won their maiden Coupe de France titles in 1982 and 1983, experienced their first European campaign in 1983 and claimed their maiden league crown in 1986. The shirt was white with blue and red vertical stripes on the left. Like the Hechter jersey, it debuted in the 1973–74 season as the away kit. Promoted by PSG president Francis Borelli, the white shirt was the club's home identity from 1981 to 1990. Now known as the "Borelli shirt," it is synonym with PSG legends from the 1980s like Safet Sušić, Luis Fernández and Dominique Bathenay.
The first crest of Paris Saint-Germain was basically the same as the original Paris FC (PFC) logo. Having to merge and give birth to the club using Stade Saint-Germain's stadium, the PFC crest kept its original design but the name below it changed from "Paris FC" to "Paris Saint-Germain Football Club." This badge consisted of a blue football with a red vessel inside it. The latter is a historic symbol of Paris and is present in the city's coat of arms. The name of the club was written below in red. PSG, however, split from PFC in 1972 and thus needed a new crest.
Representing both Paris and Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the club's second crest became the basis of the one the fans know today. The round logo featured the Eiffel Tower in red against a blue background with two Saint-Germain symbols in white between its legs: a fleur de lys and Louis XIV's cradle. This crest was created by Christian Lentretien, former PSG board member and publicist by profession, in 1972. It was first used until 1982.
The Parc des Princes, the club's home stadium, was added below the crest in 1982 and lasted until 1990. Following a brief return of the traditional crest between 1990 and 1992, former owners Canal+ radically changed it in 1992. The new model had the acronym "PSG" in white against a blue-white-red-white-blue background (like the color pattern of the Hechter shirt) with "Paris Saint-Germain" underneath in white against a black background.
Under pressure from supporters, the traditional crest returned in 1995 with "Paris Saint-Germain" above the tower and "1970" below the cradle. This logo went through a slight facelift in 2002. At the request of the club's Qatari owners, the traditional crest underwent a major makeover in 2013. “Paris” is now written in big white bold letters above a large Eiffel Tower, clearly putting forward the brand “Paris” instead of “Paris Saint-Germain.” Underneath it, “Saint-Germain” is written in smaller letters below the fleur de lys. In contrast, the cradle and the club's founding year "1970" were left out. PSG deputy general manager Jean-Claude Blanc said: “We are called Paris Saint-Germain but, above all, we are called Paris.”
Paris Saint-Germain used to host two very famous invitational competitions: the Tournoi de Paris and the Tournoi Indoor de Paris-Bercy. Regarded as French football's most prestigious friendly tournament, the Tournoi de Paris is considered a precursor of both the Intercontinental Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. PSG began hosting it in 1975 and were crowned champions a record seven times. Held at the Parc des Princes, the Tournoi de Paris was last organized in 2012. The Tournoi Indoor de Paris-Bercy was an indoor football tournament founded by PSG in 1984 and held annually until 1991 at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in the 12th arrondissement of Paris. Played indoors (synthetic field and seven-a-side), the competition featured hosts PSG and five more teams. The Parisians lifted the trophy on two occasions, more than any other club.
Paris Saint-Germain played their first game at their current home stadium, the 47,929-seater Parc des Princes, against Ligue 2 promotion rivals Red Star on November 10, 1973. It was the curtain-raiser for that season's opening Ligue 1 match between Paris FC (PFC) and Sochaux. PSG moved into the ground upon its return to Ligue 1 in 1974, ironically the same year that PFC were relegated. Up until that point it had been the home venue of PFC.
During their early years, PSG played at several grounds including the main stadium of the Stade Municipal Georges Lefèvre sports complex, the Stade Jean-Bouin, the Stade de Paris and even the Parc des Princes a few times despite the reluctance of PFC. Ever since PSG moved to the Parc, the Stade Georges Lefèvre's artificial turf and grass football pitches have hosted training sessions and home matches for the club's academy sides. The complex is located in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, just across the street from the Camp des Loges, the club's training center.
Located in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the Camp des Loges has been the club's training ground since 1970. Construction of a new Camp des Loges, on the same site as the old one, began in January 2008. At a cost of €5m, it was inaugurated in November 2008. In 2013, the venue was renamed Ooredoo Training Centre as part of a sponsorship deal with Ooredoo.
The Paris Saint-Germain Training Center will be the new training ground and sports complex of Paris Saint-Germain. It will replace the Camp des Loges upon its completion in 2022. Owned and financed by the club, the venue will bring together PSG's male football, handball and judo teams, as well as the football and handball academies. The club, however, will remain closely linked to their historic birthplace in Saint-Germain-en-Laye as the Camp des Loges will become the training ground of the female football team and academy.
Paris Saint-Germain is the most popular football club in France and one of the most widely supported teams in the world. Famous PSG fans include Nicolas Sarkozy, Tony Parker, Tom Brady, Patrick Dempsey, Victoria Azarenka, Teddy Riner and DJ Snake.
Lacking a big passionate fanbase, the club began offering cheaper season tickets to young supporters in 1976. These fans were placed in the Kop K, located in the K section of the Borelli stand at the Parc des Princes. Following an increase in ticket prices, Kop K supporters moved to the Boulogne stand in 1978, and the Kop of Boulogne (KoB) was born. There, the club's first Italian-style ultra group, Boulogne Boys, was founded in 1985. Other KoB groups, however, took British hooligans as dubious role models and violence rapidly escalated. PSG supporters' groups have been linked to football hooliganism ever since.
PSG owners Canal+ responded in 1991 by encouraging and financing non-violent fans of the KoB stand to take place in the Auteuil stand at the other end of the Parc des Princes. The Virage Auteuil was born, alongside Supras Auteuil, its most notorious ultras. At first the measure worked but, slowly, a violent rivalry arose between the two stands. Things came to a head in 2010 before a match against Olympique de Marseille in Paris. Boulogne fan Yann Lorence was killed following a fight between groups from both stands outside the Parc des Princes, forcing PSG president Robin Leproux to take action.
The club exiled the supporters' groups from the Parc des Princes and banned them from all PSG matches in what was known as Plan Leproux. It made PSG pay the price in terms of atmosphere, with one of Europe's most feared venues now subdued. For their part, former Virage Auteuil supporters formed the Collectif Ultras Paris (CUP) in February 2016, with the aim of reclaiming their place at the stadium. In October 2016, after a six-year absence, the club agreed to their return. Grouped in the Auteuil end of the stadium, the CUP currently is the only ultra association officially recognized by PSG. The ultra movement has also started to come back to life in the Boulogne stand. New groups Block Parisii, Paname Rebirth and Résistance Parisienne are trying to convince the club of relaunching the Kop of Boulogne.
Paris Saint-Germain shares an intense rivalry with Olympique de Marseille; matches between the two teams are referred to as Le Classique. Equivalent to Spain's El Clásico, the fixture is the biggest rivalry in France and one of the greatest in the world. Important security measures are taken ahead of these matches to prevent confrontations between the fans, but violent episodes still often occur when they meet.
The duo are the two most successful clubs in French football history and the only two French teams to have won major European trophies. Moreover, PSG and l'OM were the dominant forces in the land prior to the emergence of Olympique Lyonnais in the 2000s. They are also the two most popular clubs in France and the two most followed French teams outside the country, ahead of Lyon. Both clubs are at or near the top of the attendance lists every season as well.
In their early meetings during the 1970s there was little indication the two would become deadly adversaries. The newly formed Parisians were trying to assemble a competitive team, while the Olympians were Ligue 1 contenders. It all changed in 1986, when PSG won its first championship and l'OM were bought by Bernard Tapie. By the end of the decade, PSG were fighting for the 1988–89 title against Tapie's star-studded Marseille, and sparks flew for the first time. The accusations made by PSG president Francis Borelli against Tapie and l'OM for fixing matches during that season were a big contributor to their growing antagonism.
The 1990s were the real starting point of the rivalry, though. French TV channel Canal+ bought PSG in 1991 with the aim of breaking Marseille's hegemony, but agreed with Tapie to fuel the animosity between them as a way to spice up the league. Now with similar financial power, PSG and l'OM established themselves as top contenders in the title race. Both sides were less successful in the late 1990s and throughout the 2000s, but the rivalry remained just as fierce. However, since the 2010s, the matchup has been completely dominated by PSG. The investment of their mega-rich Qatar owners has created a wide gap between them and Marseille.
Ownership and finances
During its first three years of existence, Paris Saint-Germain was fan-owned and had 20,000 socios. The club was run by board members Guy Crescent, Pierre-Étienne Guyot and Henri Patrelle. A group of wealthy French businessmen, led by Daniel Hechter and Francis Borelli, would then buy the club in 1973. PSG changed hands in 1991, when Canal+ took over, and then again in 2006 with the arrival of Colony Capital. Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, ruler of Qatar, has been PSG's owner since 2011 through state-owned shareholding organization Qatar Sports Investments (QSI).
This means that PSG are one of only two state-owned clubs in the world, along with Manchester City. As a result, PSG are also one of the richest clubs in the world. QSI, a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), became the club's majority shareholders in June 2011 and sole shareholders in March 2012. For his part, QSI chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been PSG president since the takeover. Al Thani, however, has the final word on every major decision of the club. He is both the chairman of the QIA and the founder of QSI.
Upon their arrival, QSI pledged to form a team capable of winning the UEFA Champions League and making the club France's biggest name. Consequently, since the summer of 2011, Paris Saint-Germain have spent more than €1 billion on player transfers such as Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Edinson Cavani, David Luiz, Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Mauro Icardi. These massive expenditures have translated in PSG's domination of French football. However, they have not yet brought home the coveted Champions League trophy and have caused the capital club problems with UEFA and its Financial Fair Play regulations (FFP).
As of the 2019–20 season, Paris Saint-Germain have the seventh-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual turnover of €541m according to Deloitte, and are the world's ninth most valuable football club, worth $2.5bn according to Forbes magazine. PSG's strong financial position has been sustained by the club's lucrative sponsorship deals with several commercial partners, including the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), Nike, ALL and Air Jordan. Throughout their history, though, PSG has rarely been profitable. Prior to the Qatar buyout, the club's cumulative losses between 1998 and 2010 amounted to €300 million.
Paris Saint-Germain holds many records, most notably being the most successful French club in history in terms of official titles won, with 45. Domestically, PSG have clinched nine Ligue 1 championships, a record fourteen Coupe de France, a record nine Coupe de la Ligue, a record ten Trophée des Champions and one Ligue 2 title. In international club football, they have claimed one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and one UEFA Intertoto Cup. Additionally, PSG have won 25 unofficial titles.
Their victory in the 1995–96 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup makes PSG the sole French side to have won this trophy as well as one of only two French clubs to have won a major European competition and the youngest European team to do so. The Parisians are also the club with the most consecutive seasons in the top-flight (47 seasons in Ligue 1 since 1974–75). Furthermore, PSG are the only side to have won the Coupe de France without conceding a single goal (1992–93 and 2016–17), five Coupe de la Ligue in a row (2014–2018), four back-to-back Coupe de France (2015–2018), and eight consecutive Trophée des Champions (2013–2020).
PSG have won all four national titles in a single season on four occasions. This feat is known as the domestic quadruple. The Red and Blues have completed the domestic double, the league and league cup double, the domestic cup double and the domestic treble several times as well. Therefore, PSG are the club with the most domestic doubles and league and league cup doubles, and the only team to have won the domestic cup double, the domestic treble and the domestic quadruple.
- Ligue 1
- Winners (9): 1985–86, 1993–94, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20
- Runners-up (9): 1988–89, 1992–93, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1999–2000, 2003–04, 2011–12, 2016–17, 2020–21
- Ligue 2
- Winners (1): 1970–71
- Coupe de France
- Winners (14; record): 1981–82, 1982–83, 1992–93, 1994–95, 1997–98, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2019–20, 2020–21
- Runners-up (5): 1984–85, 2002–03, 2007–08, 2010–11, 2018–19
- Coupe de la Ligue
- Trophée des Champions
- Winners (10; record): 1995, 1998, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
- Runners-up (3): 2004, 2006, 2010
Doubles and Trebles
- Domestic Double (L1 and CdF)
- Winners (4; record): 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2019–20
- League and League Cup Double (L1 and CdL)
- Winners (5; record): 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2019–20
- Domestic Cup Double (CdF and CdL)
- Winners (7; record): 1994–95, 1997–98, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2019–20
- Domestic Treble (L1, CdF and CdL)
- Winners (4; record): 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2019–20
- Domestic Quadruple (L1, CdF, CdL and TdC)
- Winners (4; record): 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2019–20
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Other players under contract
Staff and management
|Head coach||Mauricio Pochettino|
|Assistant coaches|| Jesús Pérez|
|Goalkeeper coaches|| Toni Jiménez|
|Physical preparation managers|| Sebastiano Pochettino|
|Performance coordinators|| Gian Nicola Bisciotti|
|Sports scientists|| Denis Lefebve|
Ben Michael Simpson
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