There seems to be a non-stop game of musical chairs at Paris Saint-Germain as the French giants desperately try to get their hands on the UEFA Champions League.
This season, when the music stopped, Luis Enrique was the man who managed to find a seat to sit on. And with Enrique’s Champions League record, could PSG have finally found the manager who can deliver them the Holy Grail?
LUIS ENRIQUE IS PSG'S NEW HEAD COACH 🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/eNikBoCzWr
— Ligue 1 English (@Ligue1_ENG) July 5, 2023
PSG is amongst favourites to win the Champions League
In the latest betting to win the 2023/24 Champions League, the bookmakers believe the Parisians have a chance of finally lifting the coveted trophy. Current holders Manchester City currently lead the betting on 2/1. They are followed by Bayern Munich at 11/2, who currently have Harry Kane scoring goals for fun.
Real Madrid (15/2), Arsenal (8/1), and Barcelona (10/1) all are at shorter Champions League odds than PSG, with the 2020 beaten finalists next in the betting at 12/1. This puts the Parisians in with the betting favourites.
Proven track record
Luis Enrique has a proven track record when it comes to winning the Champions League. In the 2014/15 season, Enrique led Barcelona to the title, beating Juventus 3-1 in the final in Berlin.
The win was all the more special as it completed the treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League for the Catalans for the second time in six years. They also achieved the feat in the 2008/09 season under the guidance of Pep Guardiola.
After leaving Barcelona, Luis Enrique went on to lead the Spanish men’s national team. He was relieved of his duties after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where he could only lead Spain as far as the Round of 16, where they lost on penalties to Morocco.
In fairness to Enrique, his Spain team looked one of the strongest at the World Cup. Their main issue was their lack of goalscorers. Which is a problem he doesn’t have in Paris!
Big names are gone!
PSG have just jettisoned their best players, so how can they win the Champions League?
Big names such as Lionel Messi, Neymar and Sergio Ramos were all brought to Paris because they knew how to win the Champions League. PSG have just shown all three the door.
So, has their best chance of winning the competition this season already gone?
Not a bit of it. Luis Enrique is a disciplinarian. He knows Messi and Neymar from his time at Barcelona, and he also knows how big their egos are and the – negative or positive – influence they can have on a dressing room. Is it a coincidence that all those big names left the club the summer Enrique arrived? Maybe. Or maybe Enrique informed the club that he wanted them gone before he took the job?
Enrique knows how important a close dressing room is for success. He knows he can’t have big names pulling in different directions, distracting teammates from the job.
Despite the record of the players that left, it could well be that allowing them to go was good business. But the best bit of business of all could have been bringing Luis Enrique into the club.