French football powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are set to celebrate their 50th anniversary this week, after the club rose in the 2010s fueled by Gulf investment.
Founded on Aug. 12, 1970, PSG dominated French football after Qatar Sports Investments purchased the club in 2011.
Once the new investors came to power, PSG kicked off a long-term project to create a powerful team and win Europe’s top-tier UEFA Champions League title.
The French club is yet to claim this title but reigned France in 2010s, winning the top-flight Ligue 1 campaign in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Defending French league champs, PSG equaled bitter rivals Olympique Marseille’s number of league titles as both clubs earned nine titles each in the country.
But Saint-Etienne is still the most successful club in the country with 10 titles as their latest league triumph was in 1981.
41 cups in 50 years
Called “Les Rouge et Bleu” (The Red and Blues), PSG claimed 41 cups since their establishment in 1970.
PSG won nine French Ligue 1 titles, nine French League Cups, 13 French Cups, nine French Super Cups and one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
UEFA — European football’s governing body — abolished the Cup Winners’ Cup tournament in 1999 and absorbed it into the second-tier UEFA Cup tournament, which was later rebranded UEFA Europa League in 2009.
Paris won the 1996 Cup Winners’ Cup, beating Austrian opponents Rapid Wien 1-0 in the final at King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels.
Following the Qatari takeover, PSG have eyed the Champions League title for a long time and still desire to bag it.
Cavani, Ibrahimovic, Pauleta leave marks at club
Now a free agent, Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani is PSG’s all-time top scorer.
Cavani, 33, scored 200 goals in 301 appearances for Paris.
He joined the French team from Italy’s Napoli in 2013.
Cavani’s contract ran out in 2020 summer as PSG let him go.
Another player, who impressed this club, was a Swedish star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Ibrahimovic was a beloved player and one of the big names in the PSG squad.
Currently playing for Italian club AC Milan, the 38-year-old towering striker netted 156 goals in 180 matches for Paris Saint-Germain.
Ibrahimovic played for Paris in 2012-2016.
Pauleta was among the PSG legends in history.
The former Portuguese forward, who played for the team in 2003-2008, scored 109 goals in 211 appearances.
Pauleta, 47, retired from football in 2008 as he last played for PSG.
Cavani, Ibrahimovic and Pauleta are still the all-time top three goal scorers for PSG.
Ronaldinho wears PSG jersey in the early 2000s
A former Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2001 from Gremio of Brazil. This was Ronaldinho’s first overseas experience.
The 2002 FIFA World Cup winner played for PSG for two years (2001-2003) then was signed by Spanish powerhouse Barcelona, where he became a club legend.
Ronaldinho, 40, who mainly played in the attacking midfield position, was one of the most impressive players for Brazil and clubs that he played.
He produced 25 goals in 77 matches for PSG.
French defender Armand has most appearances
Sylvain Armand, the French left-back, has the most appearances for Paris Saint-Germain.
Armand, 40, played in 381 matches for this club in 2004-2013. He won the French league with Paris in 2013. Armand retired in 2017 after a four-season-spell at Rennes.
PSG’s Turkish players
The French giants had two Turkish players in the club’s 50-year-history.
French-born Turkish forward Mevlut Erdinc, 33, was a PSG player in 2009-2012.
Erdinc is currently in Turkey to play for Fenerbahce. He scored 30 goals in 110 games for PSG.
Meanwhile, Metehan Guclu played for Paris Saint-Germain youth teams from 2012 to 2019.
Rennes or also known as Stade Rennais signed 21-year-old forward Guclu last summer.
In the 2019-20 season, Guclu was on loan at Ligue 2 club Valenciennes. He was the French champion with Paris Saint-Germain in 2019 but wasn’t a team regular.
Guclu tallied one goal for PSG senior team in one appearance.
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