Paris – AFP
From a European achievement for the first time in its history to a major health setback on the eve of its first meeting in the French Football League, Paris Saint-Germain finds itself without its main players before a crowded match schedule, and the problem is the emerging Corona virus.
The French champion begins the campaign to defend his title against Lens today, Thursday, in a postponed match of the second stage, and he suffers from great sterility in the front line after the infection of both Brazilian Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Argentines Enghel Di Mare and Mauro Icardi with the emerging Corona virus.
The situation does not look better in the midfield and back, with Brazilian defender Marquinhos, Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes and Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas also injured.
All of them, with the exception of Mbappe, contracted the virus during a vacation in Ibiza after losing the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on August 23.
While Mbappe’s injury, who did not travel to the Spanish island, was revealed on Monday evening while he was with his country for the European Nations League competitions, which led to a public disagreement between the management of the French capital club and the national team and the latter’s coach Didier Deschamps, considering that PSG He learned of the injury of his player from the press.
Deschamps denied that he had “disrespected anyone”, in response to the anger of Brazilian sports director Leonardo, Saint Germain, over Mbappe’s injury.
The results of the tests for the detection of “Covid-19” that the players of the world champion underwent Monday evening while the team was training at the “Stade de France”, where the magazine “France Football” revealed that Mbappe was injured before his club knew about it.
Thus, the injury prevented Mbappe, who scored the 1-0 victory over Sweden on Saturday, from participating against Croatia on Tuesday in a replay of the World Cup Russia 2018 final, which ended with the same result in France’s 4-2 victory.
The management of the roosters team was hoping to obtain confirmation from the laboratory before informing the capital club, but as soon as the news spread, it decided to issue a statement indicating Mbabe was injured, according to Deschamps.
“So that things do not go in all directions and be interpreted in whatever way, we decided to issue a statement,” he said. We were in a hurry. Not looking for an excuse. There was a little doubt but we were supposed to look at the assertion.
“We planned (to inform Paris Saint-Germain), but we were surprised,” he said. “I am sorry to the PSG officials, but I can never consider that we have disrespected anyone.”
On Monday evening, after Paris Saint-Germain knew that six of its players had been infected with the Corona virus, Leonardo launched an attack on the French Football Association.
He complained in an interview with RMC radio: “It is unacceptable that we know from the press that we have a player, who is ours, who is injured. They communicate, bring the player home, and now what do we do? None of the federation contacted Paris Saint-Germain. Nobody called us ».
Give up options
In light of this crisis, German coach Thomas finds himself concluding the absence of most of his stars before a busy schedule that includes four games in 11 days.
To make matters worse, Cameroonian striker Eric Maxime Choubou-Moting, who often enters from the bench, and who scored the winning goal for his team in the Champions League quarter-final against Atalanta in overtime (2-1), his contract with the club ended despite Some press reports indicate that the latter is seeking to renew it.
In light of the absence due to the new Corona virus and another because of the players’ preoccupation with international competitions, Toukhul supervised a training session of 11 players only on Monday.
Young players will join the ranks of the team in order to form a team capable of keeping up with the rhythm in the next two weeks, interspersed with a summit match with rivals Marseille at the “Parc des Princes” this Sunday in the third stage.
Tuchel may resort to pushing the offensive midfielders of Spain’s Pablo Sarabia and Germany’s Julian Draxler, despite the return of the first and his compatriot Tehlo Kehrer from international competitions, similar to defender Presnell Quimembe.
After Saint Germain missed the opening stage (against Metz) as a result of his long continental season, he was supposed to play the Lens match on August 29, but it was controversially postponed in order to give the players a chance to catch their breath after reaching the Champions League final for the first time in history. Parisian club.
And instead of participating in the match, the Saint-Germain players obtained permission to travel outside the country for a vacation, so the Parisian club paid dearly as a result of the return of many of its stars infected with the “Covid-19” virus.
‘We will fight’
And if the old health protocol of the League would postpone the match against Lens, then the amendment made at the end of last week allows “the club to play matches if the results of 20 out of 30 players registered for the league matches, including at least one goalkeeper, are negative.”
As for the women who will play their first game at home in the top flight nine years ago (they lost in the second round away to Nice) in front of about five thousand fans, it will be perhaps less exciting than expected given the club’s reputation with the clamor of its fans on the stands.
“What changes that?” Said coach Frank Ayes yesterday. The momentum of the masses will be less, which will sometimes give you a strong impetus to overtake your opponent and overtake him. ”
But in the event that the red and gold club loses some of its fans, he may win points if he succeeds in taking advantage of his opponent.
“Obviously we are the smaller team, but there is no doubt that we will fight,” said goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leica.