PSG win 11th Ligue 1 title with draw at Strasbourg

Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Juan Bernat, PSG
Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Juan Bernat, PSG / Xavier Laine/GettyImages

PSG needed one point to win a historic 11th Ligue 1 title and that is all they earned in MD37 playing to a 1-1 draw on the road at Strasbourg while helping their rivals to avoid getting relegated and to stay in the French top-flight division for at least one more season.

Once again champions of Ligue 1, PSG became the most decorated French club in the history of the top-flight division by overtaking Saint-Etienne (10 titles) in the top-winning organizations' charts.

The final outcome was expected and PSG couldn't have arrived at it in a more PSG-esque way: with a dull draw in a match that they led for the most part only to end up conceding the equalizing goal late to a former Parisian player (Kevin Gameiro) with another disappointing and uninspiring defensive performance.

At the end of the day, though, coach Christophe Galtier bagged his second-ever league title after getting crowned at Lille in 2021 and doubling down on his exploits this time with PSG. The man couldn't help himself, though, feeling so entitled by the accolade as to tell the media present in his post-game presser that he "deserves a second season at PSG." Sheesh... the audacity.

Despite PSG's overwhelming dominance in France and the undeniability of their achievement in winning another Ligue 1 title, the truth is that the French top-flight division didn't have a true challenger to offer PSG a proper rival and competitor in the chase for what ultimately became the 11th Parisian crown in history.

Other than PSG, only Lens (81) will finish the 2023 season with more than 76 points as OM sits in third place at 73 through 37 games, and no other team past 66 with one game left to play next weekend. That's horrid competition, and the "close" race for the title was possible only because PSG were awful, rather than because their only challenger (Lens) did anything remarkable.

Of course, winning the league will only apply a thin layer of makeup to a mediocre season in which Galtier and his team could only win a title out of the main three, crashing out of both the Coupe de France (against OM) and the Champions League (R16 against Bayern Munich) in early knockout stages. That's just unnaceptable for any top-level club, let alone for one that dreams of lifting the UCL once and for all on a yearly basis.

It's been more than ten years since the arrival of QSI and Nasser Al-Khelaifi in the French capital. After failing to win the league in their first attempt (second-place finish in 2012), PSG have gone on to win nine of the next 11 Ligue 1 championships. That speaks volumes of the precarious status of the league, not of the true talent of Paris Saint-Germain.

One more title under the QSI ownership would already tie what Saint-Etienne achieved from 1957 through 1981 without "God Mode" activated. See what I'm saying?

Only a Kylian Mbappe-led Monaco in 2017 and then a Galtier-led Lille in 2021 snatched a couple of titles from PSG and Qatar's hands since their arrival in Paris at the beginning of the 2010s. Before that, PSG had won the title twice, in 1986 and 1994 but not in the 15+ seasons after that.

No wonder, PSG went on and bought both Mbappe (acquired in Aug. 2017) and Galtier (hired in Jul. 2022) just weeks after both men, somehow, killed the hopes of the Qatari board of winning one more title.

For other clubs in the French league, competing on an equal footing with PSG is just impossible, they have accepted it, and they're cool finishing second. It's the nature of Ligue 1, one that still, somehow, is hanging on the top-5 in terms of UEFA coefficientsalthough perhaps not anymore starting as soon as next season.

The upcoming summer transfer window poses two crucial challenges for PSG: building a competitive team capable of contending for the Champions League and convincing Kylian Mbappe, under contract only through June 2024 (though Paris Saint-Germain's statements won't lead you to believe that), to stay in the capital for the remainder of his career or a few more years at the very least.

For now, though, it will all be about celebrating another meaningful title in the history of Paris Saint-Germain, even more with one more game to play staged to happen inside the Parc des Princes next Saturday.

In the week starting June 5th, though, things will look very different in the capital and all of the attention will focus on the future of the organization.

PSG are expected to fire Galtier and the club will need to find, then appoint a new coach. They will need to deal with a handful of players currently on loan across Europe returning to Paris, then find suitors to sell them, then actually complete those operations. They will, of course, need to target good players (not like the ones they did last summer), approach their teams, bid for them, and convince them to come to Paris.

Next. Strasbourg 1-1 PSG: Individual Grades. Strasbourg 1-1 PSG: Individual Grades. dark

Most importantly, when the ball gets rolling in August, they will need to put on a solid enough team on the pitch to conquer that long-chased UEFA Champions League. Until the last step isn't taken and the UCL is lifted, then you can keep considering this whole QSI-PSG marriage an ever-failing circus.