PSG re-emerge weakened but with eyes fixed on Champions League prize

PARIS (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are still optimistic they can win the Champions League for the first time when the tournament is played out in Lisbon in August, even if the coronavirus crisis has left the Qatar-owned club apparently weakened both on the field and off it.

The decision to bring an early end to the French season in late April, with more than a quarter of matches unplayed, did not prevent PSG from being crowned Ligue 1 champions for the third year running, but it was hardly how they wanted things to end.

Without having had the chance to celebrate, the Parisians returned to training yesterday, over three months after their last game, the 2-0 defeat of Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League last 16, second leg.

Their players have since spent months confined at home before having some time to take a holiday.

PSG’s rivals in England, Spain, Germany and Italy are back playing again. In contrast, Neymar returned to France last weekend after three months in Brazil and headed straight to join teammates Marco Verratti, Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes and Marquinhos in the glitzy Mediterranean resort of Saint-Tropez.