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The scenes at the Parc des Princes on Saturday night will live long in the memory of all those who witnessed them. Paris Saint-Germain put on a show against the already relegated Brest with a 3-1 triumph but the euphoria surrounding the game is what really caught the imagination. David Beckham said his farewell in a real tear jerking scene and the team were presented with the Hexagoal trophy which was lifted by the captain Thiago Silva.
You could be forgiven to forget that there was an actual football match taking place on the night but the carnival like atmosphere was a joy to behold. The supporters in the stadium did not stop singing all game, the noise was deafening and they were treated to some sublime football by the champions, particularly in the first-half.
The players dyed their hair red, white and blue. Nicolas Douchez wore a pair of Parisien sunglasses throughout the whole night and Christophe Jallet’s bald head was painted with the French flag. It was a photographer’s field day as each image caught the imagination. The club also unveiled the new home strip which is very French-esque and is proving to be quite popular already with the supporters. The new club emblem was also on view for the first time on a strip.
David Beckham led the team out as captain in his last ever game as a professional footballer. It was a real lovely touch from the football club who have fell in love with the former England captain since he arrived. He may not have played as much as would have liked but his mere presence has left a long lasting impression – not only on the club – but also the city. Each time he touched the ball during the game it was met with a rapturous round of applause. The respect from the Parisien supporters was a real humbling experience for the 38-year-old. But, what followed when he was substituted in the 81st minute was a real ‘grande’ moment in football history, no question about that. The most recognisable face in the game for the last 15-years began to weep on the pitch as he knew the curtain was about to come down on his glittering career. As the number 32 flashed on the electronic board for him to be substituted every single person in the stadium arose to their feet and applauded him. It was as if time stood still. All of the players on the pitch stood around him and clapped him off, giving him hugs as he cried his eyes out. President Nasser Al-Khelaifi was also shedding tears in the Presidential suite and Carlo Ancelotti’s eyes glistened as he embraced his player in the dugout. Honestly, moments like that in football are rare. It was something else and truly fitting for one of the game’s most professional players. Merci David for a remarkable career and allowing us to witness you adorn the navy blue shirt.
As the game drew to a close – PSG won 3-1 with a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a scuffed effort from Blaise Matuidi (the result playing second fiddle to the incredible scenes) the players and staff congregated on the pitch to show their unity. I have said before this is a real close group of players despite what outsiders may say about astronomical salaries and egos. It really is not the case with these lads.The team spirit is so there.
Then it was party time as Thiago Silva lifted the Hexagoal trophy after a fantastic firework display worthy of anything you would see in a sporting sense. Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ blared around the Parc to cap off an incredible evening and an incredible season.
Paris Saint-Germain proved to the world that this a special football club that is going to get bigger and better. We want more scenes like Saturday night but I do not think anything will quite top it. The fact that it is the first league title in nearly two decades makes it all the more sweeter.
ALLEZ PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN! CHAMPIONS.