It will be an emotional day on Saturday when Paris Saint-Germain take to the pitch for the first time since the utterly horrific attacks on the capital last week.
The city of lights has been in mourning along with the rest of the world for the innocent victims and their families. I do not need to go into the details of what transpired last week as we are all aware of what happened but it certainly puts life in perspective. From the bottom of my heart I say this, cherish your loved ones, live your life freely. And never be afraid! The Parisian life shall go and WILL go on!
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
The PSG players will be adorning commemorative shirts with the words ‘JE SUIS PARIS’ just below the club’s crest. It is a subtle yet powerful message remonstrating the Parisian spirit. The team will be wearing these shirts for the next three games the club have confirmed.
Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said some poignant words this week. Responding to a question about the support Paris has received, from the club’s official site he said; “It is very comforting. Throughout my numerous travels around the world, I have seen first-hand the incredible affection with which Paris is held. France and its capital are internationally recognised as being synonymous with fraternity and its commitment to upholding universal principles. Despite these attacks which have struck the city, I am sure that Paris will continue to shine in the eyes of the world.”
The players who have been on international duty have been returning day by day to Camp des Loges for training. They too have been affected by the events of last week and Thiago Motta said something quite beautiful. The Brazilian born Azzurri international said that he felt “more Parisian then ever”. And was devastated by what had happened like everyone affiliated with the city/club.
It is going to be a 90 minutes where minds will more than likely be elsewhere. It is a challenge for coach Laurent Blanc and his staff to keep the players minds in check – as well as their own – on a game of football. Yes, they are paid to do what they do but there is no doubt the emotional vibes that have reverberated across the city will have hit them hard.
The coach will be speaking to the press later today ahead of tomorrow’s clash where he will give his thoughts. LB, whose stock is growing by the day with talk of a possible contract extension, turned 50 yesterday.
We are facing a Lorient team that are in a terrific run of form. Unbeaten in their last five league games and sitting comfortably in 7th place.