Over the weekend Paris Saint-Germain bid farewell to two of their former stars in Brazilian winger Nene and French striker Guillaume Hoarau. Both depart for ambitious projects in Qatar and China respectively, but both certainly leave plenty of memories behind as they depart.
Nene, somewhat ironically given his relationship with the club towards the end of his time in the capital, departs for Qatar's Al-Gharafa who are now coached by Frenchman Alain Perrin. More curiously they are the hometown club of PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi, so whether it was guilty conscience money, coincidence or the club finding the Brazilian a suitable deal that would allow him to play football again, Nene's protracted exit is finally complete.
An outstanding servant to the club over the past three seasons, the Brazilian had been PSG's most consistent performer since his arrival in 2010 and it is hard not to feel that the club has been too hasty in getting rid of the Samba star. Last season's joint-top scorer in Ligue 1 with 21 goals, Nene himself and many of the fans felt that he still had plenty to offer the club this season. However, the arrivals of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Lucas Moura changed the focus of the side meaning that there was no longer enough room for the 31-year old.
Perceived to have been deemed too old and not enough of a star attraction to merit a place in the future of PSG, the player had been frozen out of coach Carlo Ancelotti's plans since the start of the season. Following a few ugly scenes including a reported refusal to warm up as a substitute for a Champions league clash against Porto, Nene leaves the club under a cloud. However, the fans will only keep good memories of the man who was undoubtedly once the Prince of the Parc.
Hoarau on the other hand is PSG through and through and his open letter to the fans upon his departure, including his hopes that his former team 'zlataner the opposition' to win Ligue 1, further endeared him to fans who already embraced him as one of their own. Despite not being able to merit a place in the side ahead of the likes of Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi, Jeremy Menez or even Kevin Gameiro, it was evident that the rangy striker would need to leave if he wanted to play regular first team football.
The 28-year old joins Chinese side Dalian Aerbin, who boast former Lens and Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita as their captain. Many had expected him to seek his fortune in the Premier League but instead, he opted to move to China where an exciting new challenge awaits him. Despite his departure, PSG fans will no doubt remember their former number nine fondly even if he was not as prolific as was hoped when he joined the capital club from Le Havre in 2008.
That said, a new era awaits Carlo Ancelotti's side and Nene and Hoarau will likely not be the last departures. They will, however, be two of the more celebrated of the old guard.