International weeks tend to cast a blanket over domestic club matters but there has been a number of key issues involving Paris Saint-Germain over the past seven days.
Finally, taking control of Ligue 1 was the biggest story last weekend. We now have destiny in our own hands as we defeated Lorient 3-1 and Lyon’s failure to get a result at home to Nice rounded off a perfect couple of days. It sets us up tantalisingly well for the ‘classique’ at the Velodrome next week against Marseille. OM will be buoyed by their 0-4 victory away to Lens at the Stade de France which puts them a point behind Lyon and just two points off ourselves.
Marquinhos signs new deal
This was pretty unexpected in all honesty but more than welcomed nevertheless. Centre-back Marquinhos put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension which ties him to the club till June 2019. This puts an end to the speculation linking him with a big money move to Manchester United who were keen back in January. That deal however was never going to happen but this is positive sign from the player and club to reassure the commitment. The Brazilian told the club’s official site; “It’s great, very good news. It shows that I’m doing a good job. I’m very happy that the club is showing such confidence in me. It’s a new stage of my life. The project here in Paris is magnificent…and life in Paris is wonderful! I’m very happy with everything that’s happened in my life since signing here. Paris Saint-Germain has provided so much for me. I hope it continues for a long time to come”.
President Nasser Al-Khelaifi was thrilled by the extension – emphasising the club’s long term plan; “Marquinhos represents the future of our club and this extension shows how strongly attached he is to Paris Saint-Germain. We are very happy to extend our adventure with this young and talented player, and it shows how committed the club is to conserving our best young talents. The biggest European clubs were interested in signing Marquinhos, so this contract extension further reinforces Paris Saint-Germain’s ambitious long-term project”.
FFF refuses Coupe de France semi reschedule
This has been brewing for weeks but the French Football Federation made a definitive decision on Les Parisiens’ request to move the Coupe de France semi-final with Saint Etienne to the end of April. Our schedule after the international break is intense but it is a credit to the players and staff for still being in four competitions at this stage of the season. Although the club reluctantly accepted the decision of the FFF, they released a statement saying:
‘Paris Saint-Germain takes note of the decision of the French Football Federation but doesn’t understand its refusal to accept its request to invert the games of the 8th and 28th April.
Paris Saint-Germain stresses that it defends the image of French football in Europe, allowing it to thus improve its UEFA ranking for the benefit of all.
Nonetheless, the Paris Saint-Germain team, motivated by the passionate support of its fans, will address all the sports challenges ahead by continuing to represent the colors of Paris and France, without abandoning a single competition’.
Blaise Matuidi is going nowhere
Big bad Blaise was very blunt with comments on his future. He is staying at Paris Saint-Germain next season and that is that! This is off the back of continuous links with a move to England. BM put the record straight at Clairefontaine earlier in the week by saying; “I am very happy in Paris. I can assure you that I will be at PSG next season”.
Last but not least, the PSG women are an absolute credit to everyone affiliated at the club
PSG’s women are through to the semi-final of the Champions League after demolishing Glasgow City 5-0 at the Parc des Princes last night in front of 11,500 spectators. The aggregate result in the end was 7-0 after that 0-2 win in Scotland last weekend.
The president hailed the work of the girls and staff in a lovely statement on the club’s official site. Here is just a snippet of what he said “The chance to enjoy the playing conditions and the support of our fans at the Parc des Princes on Saturday saw our players play to their full potential. To play this match at the Parc was a strong message to Farid Benstiti (the coach) and his squad. Now more than ever, the women’s team is an essential component of our project.”
That last sentence just emphasises that everyone at the club whether it is the senior team, ladies team or Under-19’s, are all steering this ship together!