Sat, 02 Jul 2022

A son-et-lumière spectaclular replete with fireworks preceded the presentation of the Ligue 1 trophy to Paris Saint-Germain's players on Saturday night at the Parc des Princes.

The show followed a triptych. First the announcement that Kylian Mbappe would spurn the advances of Real Madrid and remain until 2025 at PSG.

And then a 5-0 demolition of Metz which highlighted Mbappe's prowess as he whacked in a hat trick to take his league tally up to 28 goals to secure the Golden Boot for the third consecutive season. He also finished the campaign with the most passes leading to a goal for another player.

The final piece was a homage to Angel Di Maria who is departing after seven years service.

Focus

While he, Neymar and Lionel Messi - some of South America's finest footballers - roamed menacingly around the pitch, it was the boy from Bondy just outside Paris who attracted the attention after a season where he has kept his counsel about his future.

"I'm convinced that I can continue to grow at a club which is providing all the tools for us to perform at the highest level," said Mbappe. "I'm happy to stay in my home country too."

His decision to continue in the French capital bonded supporters who have wailed and railed about the club's strategies ever since the disastrous elimination from this season's Champions League - the title that PSG's Qatari backers covet.

Work

"There have been ups and downs over the season," said PSG skipper Marquinhos before receiving the Ligue 1 trophy.

"But we've come together and we've won something big. It's been a lot of work from a lot of people been a difficult season."

Players stayed on the pitch at the Parc des Princes as fans celebrated the club's record-equalling 10th top flight title outside the ground.

The full implications of Mbappe's decision will unfold over the close season.

Questions

Will coach Mauricio Pochettino remain at the helm for the 2022:/23 season? Will there be a more structured approach to recruitment rather than the thrust for star names?

It could also engage the lawyers. On Saturday, organisers of La Liga - Spain's top flight - said they would file a complaint against PSG before European football's governing body Uefa as well as French tax authorities about Mbappe's decision.

"This type of agreement puts hundreds of thousands of jobs and sporting integrity at risk in the medium term," said La Liga.

Madrid could balm their wounds with victory over Liverpool in the Champions League final in Paris on 28 May.

Rethink

"Kylian staying is huge thing," added Marquinhos. "But there are still lots of things to be done. We have to look at what was good and not so good this season. The Champions League will be one of those things that's for sure."

The 5-0 annihilation sent Metz into the second division along with Bordeaux. Saint-Etienne will contest the relegation play-off against Auxerre.

At the other end of the championship, Marseille will join PSG in next season's Champions League. Jorge Sampaoli's men finished second following a 4-0 win over Strasbourg.

Monaco, who had second place in their grasp, lost it in the dying seconds at Lens who equalised with virtually the last kick of the game.

Monaco will play in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League. Rennes scrambled fourth - the Europa League berth - and Nice, who came from 2-0 down at Reims to win 3-2, ended their campaign in fifth place - the spot for the Europa Conference League.

Originally published on RFI

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