Violence mars celebrations but more positives than negatives after PSG title parade

Posted by Jonathan Johnson

Monday's title celebrations were supposed to be an event that captured the attention of the whole of Europe as the fans of Paris Saint-Germain gathered to celebrate the capital club's first Ligue 1 trophy in 19 years. The long wait finally over thanks to Sunday's victory over Lyon, there was an outpouring of emotion in the capital as PSG fans arrived in their thousands to share the team's joy.

- PSG's 19-year wait for a third title is over
- Violence erupts as PSG celebrate
- PSG reject approach for Ancelotti


Unfortunately the joy turned to chaos as violent clashes marred the colourful festivities from Trocadero to the Champs-Elysees, the Eiffel Tower and the Parc des Princes, injuring some and resulting in a number of arrests. But those incidents should not overshadow what has been a hugely positive last 24 hours or so for the club, and the turnout to celebrate PSG's first title win since 1994 was nothing short of excellent.

The first piece of positive news was that after the victory in Lyon, star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirmed his intention to stay at the club. The news should put an end to the rumours that have plagued the Swedish international for the past few weeks and months. The towering marksman has scored 27 goals in the league alone this season and PSG's title celebrations have been, in part, down to him and his superb goal tally. His current haul is the highest since Djibril Cisse's 26 goals for Auxerre in 2003-2004, and he is still in sight of Jean-Pierre Papin's 30 goals for Marseille in 1990.

PSG's talismanic striker is one of the focal points of the club's project so to hear him commit his future to the club will allow many fans to breathe a sigh of relief, even if it will take until September 1 to really see if he remains at the Parc des Princes.

Secondly and perhaps even more positively, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi expressed his determination to fight to keep coach Carlo Ancelotti and claims to have rejected the interest of Real Madrid. In an interview with L'Equipe he revealed that an approach has been made for PSG's Italian tactician has been made but does not intend to let the two-time Champions League winner go. It is a strong move and one that demonstrates the capital club's growing importance, but more crucially now leaves the ball firmly in Ancelotti's court regarding staying on.

Coming out and publicly declaring a desire to keep Ancelotti is the best possible action PSG and Al-Khelaifi could have taken at this time. Les Parisiens need the 53-year-old to stay because he is the best man for the job at the current time and has a blossoming project in Paris that requires his presence in order to continue. Now, if he does still depart for Madrid, it won't be because the club did not show enough of a desire to keep him. With Al-Khelaifi doing everything possible to make sure that Ancelotti stays in the French capital, it is the best possible news that PSG fans could hear after the title victory itself.

Importantly, the decision is now the former Chelsea coach's to make so if he really does not want to stay in France, he can opt to leave. Keeping Ancelotti in the face of such interest would be a massive coup and the perfect way to head into the summer.

Of course, it does raise some questions of the future of sporting director Leonardo, who was a notable absentee from the celebrations after spending Monday in a Parisian hospital having collapsed upon the team's return from Lyon. The cause is believed to be stress-related but it seems the Brazilian partied a little too hard on the flight back to Paris!

His confrontation with Ibrahimovic after the match at the Stade Gerland though has not escaped anybody's attention. It seems that the argument was born out of the fact that the Swede was selected to participate in a routine drugs test after the match, but then waited for over 20 minutes with nobody arriving to inform him of whether or not it had been cancelled. He vented his anger at Leonardo who was entering the dressing room to enjoy the celebrations with the team, in face of his suspension from technical areas on match day, but then later claimed it was forgotten. Plenty has been made of the heated conversation and no doubt it will be further scrutinised, but Al-Khelaifi praised the Brazilian's works in assembling a squad capable of ending this 19-year wait.

The president is right, for the moment all that is important is to celebrate this wonderful achievement without tarnishing the reputation of the club. The scenes at the Stade Gerland that then continued in Paris represent the realisation of a long-held ambition and hopefully the start of domestic dominance equal to that of the seven-time winners that PSG disposed of on Sunday. The team fully deserve praise and recognition for being able to secure the title and bring major domestic silverware back to the Parc des Princes, ushering in the Qatar Sports Investments era's first tangible measure of success.

The critics can have their say and speak of how the title has been bought, but it is one thing assembling a stellar team on the pitch and another to get them playing as a team. Ancelotti has done that throughout a rollercoaster season and deserves as much credit as the players who are worthy champions.

Ibrahimovic summed it up best, dedicating the title win to the late Nick Broad, who died tragically in January after a car accident. Following the shock news the club were forced to travel to Bordeaux with nobody in the right state of mind to play. A tearful Ancelotti saw his side win 1-0, a result that put them back at the top of Ligue 1 for the first time in 2013 and it is a position that they have held ever since. Unfortunately, the unsavoury scenes on Monday soured what is a fitting tribute to the Englishman.

The next goal is to continue this success and turn it into domestic, and in time European, domination. While police and the authorities clean up the mess left after PSG's title celebrations, the priority in the aftermath of victory for the club is to sort out Ancelotti's future. It seems that clean-up operation is already underway.

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