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Paris Saint-Germain's record 11th French championship after a season full of low points in Ligue 1 2022–23

After winning a record 11th French championship, Paris Saint-Germain's season is coming to a conclusion, but it's been one of the most contentious and tense campaigns in recent memory, with supporters turning against the team's players, notably football legend Lionel Messi, and the club president.

With a round to go, PSG's 1-1 draw against Strasbourg on Saturday allowed them to pass Saint-Étienne's record of 10 championships and retain the trophy. However, it's possible that this season will be most remembered for its numerous low times.

PSG's season hasn't been the finest, the captain Marquinhos recently said.

After more renowned managers failed to lead the team to the club's long-desired first Champions League championship, coach Christophe Galtier was brought in to lead a new era. Galtier promised that there would be no special treatment for famous players, but he ultimately failed in Europe and even had to fight for his job at the conclusion of a difficult first season. Galtier won't likely lead the team for a second season.

HOUSE LOSSES AND DISPUTES

PSG traditionally considered Parc des Princes to be a fortress, but that was not the case this season as it dropped three league games at home.

After failures at home, including consecutive losses to Rennes and Lyon without scoring a goal, players were jeered off the pitch. Even the small Lorient team, who placed 10th overall, triumphed 3-1 in Paris.

Both at home and on the road, Rennes defeated PSG, and after a 3-1 loss in Monaco, players Marquinhos and Neymar quarrelled with sports director Luis Campos.

Campos was furious with the team's dismal performance when it fell down 3-0 at the break, one of the worst showings by PSG since Qatari owners QSI took over 12 years ago.

Nothing needs to be concealed, Marquinhos said. We have sometimes slacked off during games. That effectively captures the season.

When former France great Michel Platini played for the squad in 1981, Saint-Etienne won the last of its ten championships.

Fans of Messi

When the team's performance suffered, part of the supporters' anger was directed towards Messi, who was seen to be struggling after returning from helping Argentina win the World Cup. However, it was his goal against Strasbourg that ultimately sealed the championship, reiterating his standing as probably the sport's top star. Messi also eclipsed Cristiano Ronaldo's scoring record for the top five leagues in Europe with his 496th league goal in Europe.

Messi, who holds the record for winning the Ballon d'Or seven times, has recently been under fire from supporters and was temporarily banned by his team for taking an unauthorised vacation to Saudi Arabia.

The home game against Clermont next Saturday is anticipated to be Messi's last one since he is not likely to exercise the option for an additional year on the contract he signed two years ago. With one game remaining in the season, Messi has 16 league goals and 16 assists.

After having an argument with the administration, the club's fervent ultras even decided to boycott matches.

They said that PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who is known for being overly protective of the club's best players, would not heed their requests.

By demonstrating in front of Brazilian football star Neymar's home, some ultras went too far.

But it served as a metaphor for how dissatisfied many PSG supporters turned out to be.

RUN OF LOSSES

PSG was undefeated until the World Cup got underway in November, but they've lost nine games total this year.

After the World Cup, “a lot of things changed,” according to Marquinhos. We were unable to keep up since it was so emotionally and physically taxing.

The rot began on January 1st when host Lens defeated PSG 3-1, exposing the team's fundamental defensive flaws that its assault had been covering up for years.

PSG was eliminated from the Champions League in the round of 16 for the second consecutive year after falling to Bayern Munich both at home and away without scoring.

CONTRADICTORY RIVALS

Galtier's team was eliminated from the French Cup by fierce rival Marseille, and it may have also lost the league championship if its rivals had been more reliable.

At home, Marseille squandered a tonne of points and let PSG off the hook after winning eight consecutive away games, one shy of its own record. Brest defeated PSG at home on Saturday.

Additionally, Lens had the upper hand in Parc des Princes in April until a careless red card gave PSG the advantage, allowing them to win 3-1.

PSG may have lost the championship without custodian Gianluigi Donnarumma and Kylian Mbappé, who became PSG's all-time top scorer and has the most league goals this season.

With one game remaining, Mbappé has scored a league-high 28 goals.

HURT REPUTATION

Galtier faced more criticism as a result of PSG's league defeats at home and lost his well-deserved position as one of France's top managers.

He was undefeated for Nice in three games against PSG last season and helped Nice defeat PSG in the French Cup. In 2021, he guided Lille to the championship against all odds.

But the fact that he wasn't even one of the five candidates for coach of the season highlighted how inconsistent PSG has been this season, with its performances often saved by goals from Mbappé.

WHO STEPS UP?

Galtier's successor would be PSG's ninth coach under Qatari ownership should he decide to depart.

Jose Mourinho is a name that is often mentioned.

In a very successful managerial career, the 60-year-old Portuguese has won several awards, including the Champions League with underdog Porto in 2004 and with Inter Milan in 2010—beating then-dominant Barcelona in the process.

He won the Europa Conference League with Roma the previous season and will compete for a sixth European championship on Wednesday in the Europa League final.

PSG has only ever won one trophy, the now-extinct UEFA Cup Winners' Cup from 1996.

Mourinho may be just what PSG needs. He is unflinching, loud, and willing to confront the authority of even his own club directors.

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