GUEST POST BY BEN GREEN
Ben gives us an insightful view on how he came affiliated with Paris Saint-Germain after living in the French capital for seven months.
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Ok so the title isn’t 100% accurate as I’m an avid Chelsea FC supporter back in England, but spending seven months in the City of Lights surrounded by PSG ‘propaganda’ drew me in and I succumbed to their promise for prosperity, deciding to inherit the Saint-Germain giants as my ‘French team’.
I found myself in Paris following an application to work as a Language Teaching Assistant through the British Council for my compulsory year abroad as part of my French & Spanish degree at the University of Southampton. Although I was posted in the suburban town of Chelles, a measly time table of 12 hours a week left me with a lot of time on my hands to explore the wonder of the French capital and immerse myself in its rich culture.
Within my first week, I was surrounded my teenagers wearing PSG jerseys and/or scarves and knew it would only be a matter of time before I’d find myself discussing football with those interested. So, albeit a rather unconventional method of research, I decided to delve into a bit of FIFA 13 and start a career with Les Rouge-et-Bleu to get to know the squad and test out their talent. It sounds a bit ridiculous, but the video game is surprisingly accurate when you compare the fictional versions of the players to the real deal as you’re about to find out!
Although I was already well acquainted with the utter class of the celebrated big swede that is Mr. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, I was able to discover the talent that such players as Mamadou Sakho, Javier Pastore, Blaise Matuidi, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marco Verratti possessed. And when I finally travelled to my first game as a PSG fan away against Rennes and feast my eyes upon the talent myself, I was not disappointed. Not only did I see Zlatan put in a header and soak up the spectacle put on by international stars Lucas Moura, Gregory van der Wiel and Jérémy Ménez, I also got to see one of my childhood English favourites David Beckham put foot to ball, and even set up Ibra’s header, during his last season!
Even though the game finished 0-2 and I was isolated from the animated Parisiens fans, I was entranced by the team’s level of football, impressed at the depth of its squad and attracted by their style of play. My love of the team eventually persuaded me to purchase a shirt and, surprise surprise, it read ‘Beckham 32’ on the back. Since then I’ve cheered them on when I can, enjoying such performances as the Champions League victory over Valencia as well as their consequent and unfortunate loss to Barcelona.
Now elated to join the long list of 1970 PSG contributors, PSG can count on my support for the upcoming campaign and beyond.
What is more, with the superstar additions of former Napoli legend and Serie A hero Edinson Cavani, as well as young defenders Marquinhos and Lucas Digne, I can’t wait to see what the champions have to offer this season and report on their inevitable triumphs.