Guest post by @psg_feed.
Ryan has made his debut for 1970 PSG and discusses the newly fledged rivalry between Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.
When Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea walk out onto the pitch at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night they will be fighting for more than just a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The outcome will be a pivotal moment in what I believe is one of the biggest rivalries in world football.
Before we get into all that, let’s first talk about what makes a football rivalry. There are a few ingredients that when mixed together create explosive match-ups and must-see television. If you look at every rivalry in football, you will find location, politics, success, and even religion, at the root – except for PSG and Chelsea.
When it comes to Les Parisiens and the Blues, they have one ingredient that trumps all and will fuel this rivalry for years to come; money.
These clubs are relative newcomers to the European stage, thanks to wealthy owners, and for the second year in a row, the two have met in the knockout-stage of the Champions League. It’s becoming apparent that for one team to succeed in the biggest club competition on the planet, they’ll have to go through the other. And with unlimited resources, both are practically guaranteed knockout stage football every season.
Think about the players that will be on display Wednesday night; Eden Hazard, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois, Cesc Fabregas, Edinson Cavani. What other Champions League matchup boasts that kind of star power?
Another factor that makes this rivalry better than the rest is the fact you never know when they will play each other. The only thing we do know is any tie between the two will be of monumental importance. With other rivalries, the true impact of a win or loss may be unknown for months and the result might decide the league or a league cup. When it comes to PSG and Chelsea, we know after two matches who advances and who goes home in the biggest competition in club football. We’re talking about Champions League glory here – not fourth place in the Premier League (Arsenal/Spurs) or the Copa del Rey (Barcelona/Madrid).
Let’s not forget that Chelsea have a Champions League title to their name. They also have a manager that wants to win everything by any means necessary. They have put together a deep squad of players and are running away with the Premier League title this year. Simply put, they are everything PSG want to be.
Unlimited resources and consistently playing in the business end of the Champions League are definitely enough for me to call this the biggest rivalry in world football but there is something else that injects the hatred you see in so many other football rivalries.
Before the first match of this year’s tie, Chelsea supporters were caught on camera subjecting a gentleman to racial taunts. Chelsea have said all the right things in the media of course but as a PSG supporter myself, I want revenge. I want a win at Stamford Bridge and I want David Luiz to score the winning goal so it hurts them even more.
Alas, its football and anything can happen. Even if PSG fall to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, the one ingredient that both teams possess will have us salivating for a rematch next season where the stakes will be even higher. PSG will invest in the summer and be stronger. Chelsea will do the same and we will all be glued to the potential draw to see what the next chapter of this great rivalry has in store.
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