Can PSG Finally Win the Champions League Now That They Have Lionel Messi?

More than $1 billion – that’s the answer to the question “how much has Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani spent on player transfers as the owner of PSG?”

That calculation doesn’t include wages, bonuses and add-ons either, and so it’s a good job that the Emir of Qatar, through his Qatari Sports Investment company, has deep pockets.

But for all the money he has pumped into the Parisian outfit, they still remain shy of the one trophy that all European teams want to win – the Champions League.

It’s been a decade of trying too, and so you wonder if Al Thani is starting to get frustrated about the perceived lack of return on his investment – PSG didn’t even win the French Ligue 1 title in 2020/21 having been usurped by Lille.

Maybe that’s what convinced the monarch to part with a pretty penny to sign 34-year-old Lionel Messi in the summer. While no transfer fee was paid to Barcelona for the Argentine’s services, the Qatari fund will stump up more than $80 million in wages over the next three seasons – not to mention other bonuses and clauses – to the fleet-footed forward.

It’s proof that, once again, success can be bought in football – that’s the idea, anyway. A proven 30-goal per season player, who will also contribute stacks of assists, Messi has already begun to pay back some of his considerable earnings by netting the second in PSG’s Champions League victory over Manchester City in September.

That was a result that suggested that things will be a little different in Paris this season – they are serious contenders, rather than pretenders, to the throne. Priced at +500 in the Champions League betting, there is a case to suggest that PSG represent excellent value this term.

And it’s all thanks, largely, to a pint-sized South American who is ageing like a fine wine…

Of course, it’s not just Messi that Al Thani and his Qatari Sports Investment group have forked out for in recent months.

Sergio Ramos, while very much in the late autumn of his career, brings with him stacks of experience and is a proven Champions League winner with Real Madrid – that pedigree will be vital for a PSG squad still lacking in players who have won silverware around the globe.

Perhaps that’s the reason why they have also brought in Gini Wijnaldum, the smart midfielder who won domestic and continental trophies with Liverpool.

In the fullness of time, it may well turn out that Achraf Hakimi is the most inspired signing of the lot. The 22-year-old was a revelation last term in Inter Milan’s Serie A triumph, and as a flying full back who offers defensive nous and attacking guile he will be a key figure in any success that PSG has this term.

It’s possible that Gianluigi Donnarumma will go on to become the best goalkeeper in the world, and so it’s hard to contest the transfer policy of PSG’s cash-rich owners this summer – they finally have the tools to bring the trophy they crave more than any other… the Champions League.