It is going to be surreal tonight. An end of an era! Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s glittering four-year stay in Paris will come to an end as he looks to bow out in style with yet another piece of silverware to his name. If that were to happen, then this club will have achieved something that has never been done. It will be a feat that’s unprecedented and unheard of. Consecutive domestic quadruples in a top European league!
To win four trophies alone is special. To do it on the bounce is something else! I said this time last year that the 2014/15 campaign was the greatest in the club’s history. But, how can this season not overtake it if we get the job done later tonight? We established an unforgiving points difference at the top of Ligue 1; 31 ahead of second-placed Lyon. And hopefully all four domestic cups in the bag! It is truly incredible.
Unfortunately though, our whimpering defeat at the hand hands of Manchester City in the quarter-final of the Champions League has left a blemish on the campaign. Europe is the key nowadays for this football club. Next season, anything less than a semi-final place will be deemed a failure. It sounds bonkers to say that but the hierarchy at the Parc des Princes want progress in Europe. That cup with the big ears is the main focus.
On French shores however, this team has been nothing short of incredible. After the success of last season, you could just about forgive some for resting on their laurels. But, that hasn’t been the case! It’s a hungry squad, full of winners. Angel di Maria’s arrival was a sprinkle of magic dust to complement what we already had.
The cycle however is coming to an end. Zlatan’s departure is massive but then you have someone like Maxwell. The greatest left-back in the modern era for Les Parisiens looks likely to leave as his contract comes to an end. There has been talk of a possible renewal but we will have to wait and see.
One player definitely seeking pastures new is right-back Gregory Van der Wiel. The Dutchman will depart the French capital after tonight’s game which was confirmed by the club at the start of the week.
Our opponents are nowhere near the calibre of team we have faced in the past. Marseille’s season has been a calamity which has resulted in fan protests, crowd trouble and pure disharmony from top to bottom at the club. Michel was sacked last month and Franck Passi has been put in charge, as he was at the start of the season after Marcelo Bielsa’s resignation.
Despite all that, they can end a disastrous season on a high with a piece of silverware at our expense. We finished with 96 points in the league, double that of OM who managed just 48 and finished in 13th place. That’s not on for a club of their size. Of course, there is the usual animosity between both clubs due to the rivalry but having a competitive Marseille at the top along with PSG is good for the league.
Tonight’s clash will bring the curtain down on another French season as the country then gears up for the European Championships in the summer! Just one or two more goals tonight please Zlatan for old time’s sake?