Wealthy Paris Saint-Germain may have
to wait years to achieve their ambition to win the Champions
League, according to club president Nasser al-Khelaifi.
Qatari investors have spent around €250 million since buying PSG in April 2011 to sign
expensive players like Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Brazil
defender Thiago Silva and Argentina forward Ezequiel Lavezzi.
The club, however, could only finish second in Ligue 1
behind Montpellier last season and they have begun this campaign
with three disappointing draws.
"Winning the Champions League is not easy. What Chelsea did
last season was impressive but it took them nine years to win
it," said Al-Khelaifi, referring to billionaire Russian owner
Roman Abramovich's purchase of the London club in 2003.
"Of course we want to win the Champions League one day but
we are realistic - it takes time," he said.
Al-Khelaifi said there was no panic over their mediocre start to
the Ligue 1 campaign.
"The start of the season has not been very good for us, for
sure, but it's normal when you build a team," he explained.
"We are satisfied with the team we have. The players have to
learn to play as a team because it's not just about buying
players, it's also a question of playing together.
"There is a lot of work to do. We need to show on the pitch
that we are really willing to work hard."
PSG, back in the Champions League for the first time since
2005, have been drawn alongside Porto, Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo
Zagreb in Group A this season.
"We have been very clear about our objective which is to be
really competitive in the Champions League," added Al-Khelaifi.
"Being competitive means fighting in each match and giving 100
"But I am confident in our team. We have an experienced
coach [Carlo Ancelotti] and we are really excited.
"We are here for Paris," added Al-Khelaifi. "Paris is
unique, it is the only club in the capital.
"I'm expecting a lot from PSG in terms of resources,
revenue, fans, results."
The 39-year-old businessman said it was important for the
squad to believe in the club's plans.
"This is not just about money, it's a challenging project,"
added al-Khelaifi. "We are not a big club yet and to become a
big club we need challenging players.
"It's really important to have a squad that understands
where we want to go and that's simple - we want to be one of the
best clubs in Europe."
The involvement of the Qatari investors could also have a
knock-on benefit to Ligue 1 which is rated in Europe below the
English Premier League, Italian Serie A, Spain's La Liga and the
"We are focused on Paris Saint-Germain of course but we also
have to think globally and see how we can make PSG and other
clubs international brands," said Al-Khelaifi.
"The French league deserves to be at a higher level than it
That may prove tough to accomplish especially since French
football did not grant the Qatari investors a warm welcome when
they arrived, and often complain PSG buy their players abroad
rather than at home.
"We tried to buy French players," said Al-Khelaifi. "But the
clubs refused to sell them to PSG.
"If we don't buy players here, we have problems, and if we
want to buy players here, we still have problems. It's
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