Not Real, it is the current PSG who has the right to pat their chest proudly for the so-called new Galacticos of European football. After years of pursuit, the Qataris have finally got what they crave most, Lionel Messi.
Not only the owner of 6 Golden Ball titles, the Princes Park team also owns the best goalkeeper at EURO 2020, the number 1 central defender in Real Madrid history, the number 1 player of the ball. Brazilian football, the future and also the golden boy of French football.
A squad just looking at it is enough to see the power above the terrible, a real star array in magnificent Paris. But having too many stars means that PSG will also have a full set of personalities, ego and the demarcation of everything becomes even more unpredictable. For example, in choosing who will take the penalty for the upcoming PSG.
A lesson about Neymar and Cavani
In 2017, Neymar then joined PSG with a deal that shocked the world. The Brazilian star, who had just arrived in Paris, did not hesitate to whisper in Edinson Cavani’s ear during the match against Lyon in September of that year. Accordingly, the Brazilian superstar “claimed” a penalty kick from Cavani’s feet. With the role of the “old man” at PSG, plus the right to appoint before, Cavani flatly refused.
At that time, Neymar showed his face to the man in front of the camera lens, pointing directly at the 11m dot. Shortly after, Dani Alves directly won the ball in Cavani’s hand to give Neymar a free kick. The conflict rekindled in the dressing room, the French press insisted that Cavani and Neymar had raised their legs and forearms in the dressing room.
Neymar “claims” a penalty from Cavani when he has only been at PSG for 2 months
Throughout the following days, the conflict in the dressing room then full of strong personalities was understood in the form of “face but not content”. This is indeed a double-edged sword, if the Qatari owners do not quell those strong personalities, a “cutting of the hand leading to bleeding” case is inevitable.
Therefore, it is assumed that the authority to take the penalty, the right to take the direct free kick or to exercise power on the field is the mouth and the beginning of underground conflicts.
Now, when Messi comes to the Paris team, that question is raised again. Will Neymar give up the right to kick 11m to Messi, Ramos or Mbappe will yield when they could have done these things well before.
Who will kick 11m?
At PSG before, 11m or direct free kicks were taken between Neymar, Mbappe and before that, Cavani. That means Neymar is not the only person assigned this responsibility at the Park of the Princes. Therefore, whether he likes it or not, he can’t “strike the ball” like Dani Alves to give it to Messi, which he is willing to do with his close brother (and vice versa) when the duo is still at Barca.
It is understood that at PSG there has been a power stratification both on the pitch and in the dressing room. Cavani did not renew the contract, the right to kick 11m belongs to Neymar and Mbappe. In many other clubs, there will only be one person assigned to kick 11m like Jorginho at Chelsea, Bruno Fernandes at MU or Sergio Ramos himself at Real or Messi at Barca before.
There are too many options for the 11m at PSG right now
Therefore, choosing a name to take on this job at PSG is almost difficult. If rotated, there are also 4 names ready for this task. Can anyone guarantee that one of them does not feel uncomfortable because the influence is not as strong as before.
11m – a measure of solidarity at PSG?
Last season, Neymar and Mbappe had a total of 12 11m shots, divided equally between both in Ligue 1. The only name given 11m was Mauro Icardi. In the Champions League, Mbappe kicked 2 times, and Neymar was 1. Di Maria also had 1 11m kick, but at that time, neither Neymar nor Mbappe.
See also: French football
Now with the addition of Sergio Ramos, Real’s No. 1 penalty scorer after Ronaldo left. The bravery and precision of this central defender is always needed in important moments. Moreover, this player is also known to be a record hunter and always asserts himself as the focus of the team. Will Ramos accept to drop the kick position to 4th, 5th in PSG?
Messi also plays a similar role at Barca. The task on dot 11 is of course El Pulga’s at Barca and it is also a plus point for his number of goals in conquering individual titles. Neymar or Mbappe too, both need 11m kicks to increase their goals, the premise for the title of top scorer or further, the Golden Ball.
Neymar can give the pen to Messi (opposite) like in Barca but Mbappe and Ramos are not sure?
It is true that Neymar is willing to sacrifice for his brother Messi, but with Ramos or Mbappe, it is not certain. The French player once expressed his ambition to become a leader, number 1 and pursue individual titles. Ramos also does not want to become a secondary character after more than a decade of “snatching” at the Bernabeu.
Here comes a real night measurement at the 11m position of PSG. Who gets kicked, who has to give up, who prioritizes kicks first, who becomes veddet will be a yardstick to measure the unity of this colorful million dollar galaxy.
Mauricio Pochettino’s voice
Mauricio Pochettino must have not been easy when holding in his hand now a dozen of the most elite defenders. The case of Neymar and Cavani 4 years ago, the current coach at that time, Unai Emery, was powerless to let these two players resolve themselves.
The Spaniard was not one to scream Conte-style or moderate Carlo Ancelotti, he was helpless to leave PSG after that and frankly admitted “it was really difficult to control the dressing room here”.
Thomas Tuchel succeeded him, he was also powerless before PSG’s personality stars because he had the right. The owners, because they pampered Neymar and Mbappe too much, have given them privileges that surpass even the coach. However, the German military leader is also very psychological when evoking solidarity in the dressing room, most notably in the 2019/20 Champions League final.
Pochettino’s real headache
And now, Pochettino’s pressure is even multiplied when in his hands are all European champions and world champions. Donnarumma has just been crowned at EURO 2020, Georginio Wijnaldum has also won the Champions League and Premier League for the past 2 years. Achraf Hakimi was an important factor in Inter’s journey to the throne in Serie A last season.
The Argentinian strategist will not be like Emery when he looks back and sees his students solve it themselves. No longer Neymar or Cavani, PSG is now full of Europe’s biggest personalities.
If there is a conflict, how will you reconcile? Will he boldly stand out and assign the right to kick 11m like other teams or let the players determine themselves? A problem of people management is heavier than tactical management.
Who kicks 11m, who kicks the direct free kick will soon be clear. But behind that clarity is the undercurrent or not, it remains to be seen.