It didn’t work again. Not even on the eleventh attempt, this season it was already over in the round of 16. Paris St. Germain lost both games against FC Bayern Munich and again said goodbye to the Champions League very early. As in previous years, the superstars Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi and Neymar only watch when things get hot in the premier class. The Champions League is the only thing that really counts for a club controlled by the Emirate of Qatar. National titles should really only be bycatch.

In 2011, Qatar acquired a majority stake in PSG through its sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Since then, billions have flowed into the club. The result: Paris, the team regularly failed in the quarter-finals and round of 16 of the Champions League.

For Philipp Lahm, the sporting failure of the supposed top club is not a big surprise. The former national team captain settles accounts with PSG in the “Zeit” in terms of sport and politics. Lahm compared PSG to a “luxury department store that exhibits the most valuable exhibits that are admired by everyone, but that nobody can afford”.

Valuable exhibits such as Neymar or Messi guarantee a high level of attention and spectacle worldwide, but no sporting success. “It only works economically. Large teams that people identify with develop in a process. This can only succeed with cooperation, solidarity and community. Those are the values ​​of Europe, but not those of PSG,” writes Lahm.

The tournament director of the EM 2024 is certain that Qatar will use the club as a vehicle: “Politically, the PSG investment may have been worthwhile. Football lends itself to other uses because of its popularity as an instrument. The owner, the country of Qatar, has used Paris and Europe for its security and geopolitics, as have its players. That’s the way the world is.”

In terms of sport, the investment has definitely not yet paid off. Lahm is particularly disappointed with Mbappé. The superstar disappeared completely in the decisive second leg in Munich. Lahm indirectly advises the 24-year-old striker to change clubs. “Kylian Mbappé is a story in itself. In Munich he just waited for the ball to fall at his feet,” writes Lahm. He lacks any imagination as to how Mbappé’s career in Paris should blossom: “His skills are used without purpose, goal or direction.”