Paris Saint-Germain news

PSG president grateful for support

April 12, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser al-Khelaifi has thanked "the French football family" for their support during the club's run to the Champions League quarter-finals.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi
PA PhotosNasser al-Khelaifi and coach Carlo Ancelotti

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The big-spending Parisians saw their dream ended by Barcelona on away goals, but their performances in both legs brought praise - and a poll carried out for L'Equipe found that 61.2% of football fans now had a positive view of PSG.

"I must express the great pride we all feel following the match against Barcelona in its Camp Nou stadium," a statement from al-Khelaifi on the club's official website said.

"This match will, I'm certain, be a great memory for everyone. We have a profound feeling of gratitude towards those who love Paris Saint-Germain.

"We express a similar feeling towards the French football family, which has supported the team throughout this European campaign."

Parisians are generally seen unsympathetically by the rest of France - a feeling that extends to the city's biggest football club.

That ill-will has been exacerbated by the arrival of Qatar Sports Investments and their limitless resources, but French international full-back Christophe Jallet told RMC radio the near-miss against Barca had softened attitudes.

"PSG has a reputation of being hated pretty much everywhere in France, but I think we lived up to the expectations of French football [on Wednesday]," he said.

"I hope we gave a good impression of ourselves, and that we'll keep that. We're just some blokes who play together and who want to enjoy themselves and entertain the supporters."

But Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot told the press Carlo Ancelotti's team might not get a better chance to fulfill their Champions League dream soon.

"If Messi hadn't come on, it might have stayed 1-0," he said. "It's a shame. Everyone says PSG will do better next year, but that's far from certain.

"There might be injuries. They could get knocked out in the group stage. On this occasion, they really had a chance to reach the semi-finals."

Jallet said the PSG players' attention was now firmly focused on the Ligue 1 title, adding: "I hope we're going to wrap it up quickly.

"That will come, in part, by playing well against Troyes on Saturday. That's when we'll feel whether or not we can seize complete control of the championship.

"The objective is to be ten points ahead before Sunday's game between Lille and Marseille."