Paris Saint-Germain: A New Direction


Nov 26, 2019
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Chapter 1: A Fresh Start


I'll start by saying that I am massively exicted for FM24, moreso than I have been for the past few iterations of the game. They've added numerous new features that have been long awaited and I am eager to see how they enhance the game. As with every beta version, I like to keep my first save to a short project, and that typically means starting with a big club. I rarely choose to manage in the French league on FM in general, so I've chosen a little bit of a change of pace and gone with French giants PSG as my first club of FM24.

One of the main reasons I've chosen them is because they have not had the best of starts to life under Luis Enrique. The club underwent a massive overhaul in the summer and seem to be shifiting their mindset - getting rid of the big name stars and focusing instead on a more well-rounded squad with the potential to continuously improve. However, it hasn't all gone to plan so far, with the club winning just 50% of their opening 8 Ligue 1 games, and being taken apart in a 4-1 defeat to Newcastle.


With that in mind, I've decided to take over at the club and try my hand at fulfilling the major ambitions of the club. Obviously, winning the Ligue 1 title is expected given the gap in quality on paper between us and the rest of the league. The Champions League, however, continues to elude PSG. Although they made the final a couple of seasons ago, they have continuously underwhelmed outside of that, and we'll be looking to rectify their disappointing European performances.
Chapter 2: Squad Overview

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Kylian Mbappe

As mentioned in the first post, the squad has undergone something of an overhaul. With that in mind, let's have a look at some of our key players.

D(C) - Marquinhos

As we have seen so many new players through the door this summer, it's important to have some form of stability, and in the 29-year-old centre-back Marquinhos, we have got exactly that. He's been at the club for just about a decade now and will be the captain of the squad, as well as being one of our most important defenders.

ST - Kylian Mbappe
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Obviously one cannot mention PSG without mentioning Kylian Mbappe. One of the best players one the planet currently and still just 24, the French international should be nothing short of incredible for us - that's the level we anticipate from him. I've been a big advocate for him to seek a move to a stronger league in real life, but for the sake of this save, I hope he stays at the club.

RW - Ousmane Dembele

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I've selected the 'Real World' game mode that is new to FM24, meaning transfers that happened in real life go through on the same date as they did in reality. Therefore, new winger Ousmane Dembele has not arrived at the club yet, but he will be a key new signing. His career has been heavily affected by injuries, but we hope we can give him a fresh start and get the best out of him.


I'll be seeking to play a 4-3-3 that makes use of the wide areas in particular. I want us to be constantly attacking and pressing in the league games, because there should not really be a team that properly competes with us, and we should be able to notch up a healthy number of convincing victories.

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Kylian Mbappe's future is a little up in the air in real life, although he seems to always end up staying around at the club. I've put an immediate end to any potential speculation by making a new five-year deal for him my first port of call as manager. It's massive money, but I'm confident that he will be worth every penny of it.

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Presnel Kimpembe was also entering the last year of his contract and so he too signs a new long term deal that will likely see him stay at the club for the next four years at least.
Chapter 3: The Season Starts

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Randal Kolo Muani

As this is the beta version, the posts will cover more months than usual so that I can play through more of the save quicker. With that in mind, this post covers all of August, September and October. I'll highlight the key matches of each month as well as any major events that happen across that time.

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We needed a real class midfielder and although Aurelien Tchouameni's current star rating is not miles above the rest of our midfielders, he exudes quality and is still just 23 years of age. He has the attributes to be a top quality midfielder and we hope he can become just that.

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Our other signing of the window was two-sided wing-back Julian Ryerson. We needed depth in that position with Nuno Mendes injured, and Ryerson is able to cover many areas of the pitch. We 100% overpaid for his services, but there was no better option available.

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We also had our Champions League draw, where the biggest group game will see us face up against Arsenal.

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As for results, and we didn't have any big games worth noting this month, but we did win all of our matches comfortably. We got off to a good start, and we performed convincingly in all of our games.

Ligue 1 Matchday 4: Olympique Lyon vs PSG

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Our first big game of the Ligue 1 season was an away trip to Lyon. I still expected us to win, but it ended up a 1-1 draw. Goncalo Ramos has started the season on fire for us and gave us a 1-0 lead, but they equalised before half-time. We ended up having to settle for a draw although things did get a little nervy when Danilo Pereira was sent off with just over 10 minutes to go.

UEFA Champions League Matchday 1: PSG vs Real Sociedad

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Our opening Champions League game was up next, and we got a narrow 1-0 victory. This was a tight, tactical contest but we just about deserved to win it, with Randal Kolo Muani scoring an early goal that proved to be the winner.

Ligue 1 Matchday 6: PSG vs Olympique Marseille

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Marseille had won their first 5 games of the season and were the only team ahead of us, so we had to be prepared for a difficult game. However, we performed brilliantly and found ourselves 3-0 up inside the first 20 minutes. It was comfortable from then on and we added a 4th in the second half.

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Our other two results in September were two comfortable league victories against OGC Nice and Clermont Foot.

UEFA Champions League Matchday 2: Arsenal vs PSG

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The first loss of my managerial career comes in our biggest game yet; an away trip to EPL runners-up Arsenal. We competed well overall, but we looked flat in the first half, and they managed to take the lead in that period.

UEFA Champions League Matchday 3: Shakhtar Donetsk vs PSG

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We needed an immediate response in our Champions League group and it looked like we were going to be on the receiving end of a shock result when Shakhtar took a 1-0 lead in the 83rd minute through their first shot of the game, let alone on target. However, we found a 91st minute equaliser and then Goncalo Ramos went and found a 93rd minute winner. A vital turnaround.

Ligue 1 Matchday 10: Brest vs PSG

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We weren't able to prevent a shock loss at the end of the month, though, as Brest pulled off a 2-0 win against us. Not good enough.

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It was mixed results for October overall - we'll need more consistency in the future.

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We are top of the league after 10 games, although it is close. We're level with Marseille, and just one point ahead of AS Monaco and Lyon. We have started well enough, although we shouldn't have lost to Brest. Hopefully, we'll separate from the pack as the season goes on, but the top four teams have been clear so far.
Chapter 4: A Streak of Wins



Although we did manage to win 7 of our first 10 games in Ligue 1, I'm hoping for us to continue to improve and create a gap between us and Olympique Marseille over the next three months. Plus, we have an important January transfer window coming up.

Ligue 1 Matchday 13: PSG vs AS Monaco

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AS Monaco have been competing near the top with us in the season so far, but we managed to come through in our first match-up against them, winning 3-1 at home. We did the damage early and from then on saw out the game, although we did concede a late goal.

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In the wake of our UCL clash with Real Sociedad, we had some terrible news - striker Randal Kolo Muani will miss the next 2-3 months with a broken ankle. He has been in scintillating form up front for us, averaging over a goal contribution per game and causing constant havoc for defences. I'm glad we have Goncalo Ramos who has also been a good source of goals for us and will be even more important now.


November was a perfect month - results wise at least. We managed to win every game, although the Shakhtar game was a nervy one - with the winner coming late. The two 1-0 Champions League ones are enough to see us through, whilst we remain top of the league.

UEFA Champions League Matchday 6: PSG vs Arsenal

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Arsenal edged us out in the reverse fixture, but we manage a 3-1 home victory over them that sees us steal top spot in the group away from them on the final matchday. We executed our gameplan really well, as we nullified anything Arsenal threw at us whilst maintaining an attacking threat at the other end.

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As mentioned, we leapfrogged Arsenal into top spot, here's hoping we get a favourable draw for the Round of 16.

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Well, a favourable draw was not what we got. It's to be Barcelona for us in the Round of 16. It'll be a massive clash, and with the Champions League being our aim this season, a hugely crucial one. It'd be a disappointing season if we were to be knocked out at this stage.


December was another month full of nothing but wins. Our league games were against teams we should be beating, but we are getting the job done in a convincing manner, and that's good to see.

French Cup 9th Round: FC Sochaux vs PSG

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Not a game I'd hoped to be higlighting as I was expecting a routine win, but we survived a massive scare against FC Sochaux in the 9th Round of the French Cup. We went 1-0 down, but we managed to turn that around fairly easily to be 3-1 up. At that point, I assumed the job was done, however they managed a shock comeback to bring it back to 3-3 with two goals in 3 minutes. We managed a lucky escape, though, as Ousmane Dembele prodded home a 94th minute winner.

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To the transfer window now, and our first move was to accept a 60 million pound bid for centre-back Presnel Kimpembe. He was not a player I was actively looking to sell, but the bid was a strong one and he was not a starter for me. With that in mind, he's off to Al Ittihad and we will be signing a replacement for him.

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Danilo Pereira has been a good DM for me so far, but at 32, it felt like the right time to move him on. He had just over a year remaining on his current deal as well, so I decided to cash in on him and he moves to Newcastle for 24.5 million.

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The last player through the exit door was Fabian. Again, he was not a regular starter for me, and when he did play, he was unspectacular. With a deal lined up for a new midfielder, I felt comfortable selling him on. Moreover, I have confidence in the young Warren Zaire-Emery to play a bigger role in the team for the second half of the season.

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That midfielder is Fredrik Aursnes of Benfica. He's been having a terrific season over in Portugal and completes what I see as an excellent midfield trio of him, Aurelien Tchouameni and Vitinha. We activated his 43 million pound release clause and that is a really decent price for such a quality player in my opinion.

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I mentioned we needed a centre-back to provide cover after Presnel Kimpembe's departure. However, the market for central defenders who were good enough and wanted to join was not particularly strong. Our main target was Victor Nelsson who was having a great season for Galatasary, but he opted to join Newcastle over us. We had a small list of options, and thankfully we got our second name on that list, the Portuguese defender Goncalo Inacio. He should have the ability to start for us to be honest, and at just 22, has room to grow. Again,we activated his release clause and I am happy with the deal.


It is 14 straight wins in all competitions for us. There wasn't much to note after that French Cup thriller, although it was nice to get revenge on Brest with a 4-1 win over them, as they are the only side who have beaten us in Ligue 1 this season.

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Considering that we have won all our games for three months straight, Olympique Marseille are doing a pretty decent job of keeping up with us. We do have a 6 point gap, but that is far from an unobtainable distance. We'll have to keep up our strong run of form to ensure that they don't threaten our top spot too much.
Chapter 5: A Crucial Stage of the Season

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Gianluigi Donnarumma

An important part of our campaign, no doubt. We have crucial fixtures coming up - the most notable of which is the Champions League Round of 16 tie against Barcelona.

UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg: FC Barcelona vs PSG

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We lost the first leg against the Catalan giants, but we played pretty well and there are plenty of reasons to feel good going into the second leg. We have a spotless home record, winning every single one of our home games so far, and there were plenty of signs that we are good enough to beat Barcelona.

French Cup Quarter Final: Olympique Lyon vs PSG

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We were close to being eliminated from the French Cup at the quarter final stage, as we just about edged Lyon out on penalties after an entertaining 2-2 draw. Gianluigi Donnarumma proved the hero and prevented a great dissapointment, as we should really be winning this tournament fairly comfortably.

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We are scoring a lot of goals, and that really came to the fore this month as much as any. We are putting teams to the sword and hopefully the clinical touch doesn't desert us in the second leg against Barcelona.

Ligue 1 Matchday 24: AS Monaco vs PSG

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We had gone unbeaten in our last 13 league games, so for that streak to be broken just a few days before the second leg against Barcelona was not ideal. I did heavily rotate to ensure that no key players were fatigued or got injured, but the squad we had should still have been good enough to take something from the game.

The second leg is essentially the defining game of our season - because the aim of this entire save is to win the Champions League with PSG. They've never won it in their history, and so to be eliminated here would be a major disappointment - even if we are up against one of the world's best teams.

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The positive is that we have our absolute strongest squad available. This line-up and tactic have proved a terrific combination and looked incredible at times. Here's hoping that this again proves to be the formula for success.

UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg: PSG vs FC Barcelona

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And indeed it was, as we overturned the first leg deficit to beat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate! It was a match to remember for Ousmane Dembele, who scored an incredible hat-trick against his former side. We were at our best in a big game and we could've won by more. Things got a little nervy when Joao Felix pulled one back, but we saw it out and we progress through to the quarter finals of the competition.

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Our youth intake was frustratingly poor this year. We're supposed to have a great youth system, but goalkeeper Adam Bourdette and a couple of others seem like the only real candidates with any true potential. Disappointing.

Ligue 1 Matchday 27: Olympique Marseille vs PSG

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Marseille have continued to be one of our closest competitors across the season, although the gap has begun to grow in recent weeks, and we managed to extend it still further with a comfortable 3-0 victory away from home.

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After a losing start, March proved to be a very successful month, of course because of the Champions League victory over Barcelona.

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As mentioned earlier, the gap is now a healthy 9 point lead, and we possess a game in hand. The league should be fairly routine from here on in.
Chapter 6: Can We Win It All?

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Nuno Mendes

The crucial games continue to come thick and fast. We have French Cup and Champions League action again in the month of April, before we hopefully have more of both competitions in May, provided of course, that we progress.

French Cup Semi Final: PSG vs Brest

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I'll be honest, our French Cup run hasn't been smooth sailing - we needed a 94th minute winner to get out of the 9th round, and won on penalties in the quarter final against Lyon. That 94th minute winner I mentioned was scored by Ousmane Dembele, who again proved clutch as his heroics guided us into the final. The game seemed destined to go beyond the 90 minutes when they scored an 89th minute equaliser, but Dembele scored a stoppage time brace to see us through. He has well and truly come up big when needed this season, what a player!

UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 1st Leg: PSG vs Atletico Madrid

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After we managed to get past Barcelona in the Round of 16, I actually felt pretty good about our chances of getting past Atletico Madrid in the quarter final. After all, they were below Barca in La Liga and we were able to get past them. I didn't expect us to put 5 past them though, but that was exactly what we did. Even before they had a man sent off, the score was still 3-1 and we were looking comfortable. I mentioned how good Dembele has been in big games this season, and he yet again proves that to be true, netting an incredible four goals in this game!

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Our budgets were announced for next season at an early stage, and they seem pretty healthy to me - with nearly 200 million to spend on transfers.

UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 2nd Leg: Atletico Madrid vs PSG

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We weren't great in the second leg against Atleti, but the first leg performance was strong enough to ensure that we are safely through to the semi finals.

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Manchester United will be our opponents in the semi finals. They are 7th in the Premier League, so considering what has transpired so far this season for us, I feel good going into this tie.

Ligue 1 Matchday 30: PSG vs Olympique Lyon

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Bringing a 0-0 draw into focus is not a result I expected to highlight, but this is our first game where we have dropped points at home this season. It's been a great run, but Lyon have managed to take points off us at our home ground.

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It was a mere formality at this stage of the season, but a 5-0 win over Le Havre ensured that we retain the Ligue 1 title this season!

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Another solid month, progress on all fronts was made and that is certainly a positive.

UEFA Champions League Semi Final 1st Leg: PSG vs Manchester United

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May began with that crucial first leg clash against United in the Champions League. Certainly, it was not the most convincing performance I've seen from us, but we deserved the win and we managed to get it. Another goal would have been lovely, but at least we have an advantage going into the second leg.

UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg: Manchester United vs PSG

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We repeat our result from the first leg and ensure that we will be competing in this years Champions League final! We ensured that we limited their chances in what was a professional performance, and maintained an attacking threat at the other end.

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Inter ran Real Madrid close in the other semi final, and I would've preferred to go up against them, but it will be the Spanish giants and serial Champions League winners Real Madrid who we face up against. It'll be tough but I have confidence in the team.

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May was a perfect month, as we won five from five.
Chapter 7: Two Finals

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Ousmane Dembele

Well, here goes. The next two games are our final two games of the season: the French Cup final, shortly followed by the UEFA Champions League final. I'll be honest, my focus is entirely on the Champions League. I expect us to beat Reims in the final of the French Cup, but I cannot say that anywhere near as convincingly about Real Madrid.

Onto the first final then.

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They started with an aggressive approach, as they were eager to tackle and foul us as often as possible to stop us from getting a free-flowing attack going. Perhaps, though, it was too aggressive, as their left-back, Charalampos Lykogiannis, received two yellow cards in just nine minutes. It gave us a massive advantage as we would have the next 80 minutes with a man advantage, provided of course that we didn't get a red card of our own.

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The pressure was on and we were absolutely all over them. We had been from the first minute, in truth, but the red card allowed us to be even more expansive. Their foul counted slowed as they couldn't risk another man being sent off, and that allowed us to have more time and space on the ball. The pressure soon paid off and Vitinha put in front after receiving an accurate cut back from Kylian Mbappe.

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Manuel Ugarte slotted home a precise strike from the edge of the box just over 10 minutes later, in what was actually his first goal for the club. It couldn't have come in a much better game, and at 2-0 we were feeling really good about our chances.

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And just three minutes later, Vitinha notched his second with another late run into the box. He's becoming better and better and has turned into an elite advanced midfielder as the season has gone on, and he's saving the best for the big stage.

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The rest of the game was a formality - we were able to take off a few key players and save them for the Champions League final, and we controlled the game without letting them have a chance at getting back in it.

French Cup Final: Stade Reims vs PSG

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Confirmation of our third piece of silverware this season, after the Trophee Des Champions and Ligue 1. A domestic treble is certainly not a bad first season in charge, but we want that elusive Champions League trophy.

Well, here was that day. Time for the final.

GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma
RB: Achraf Hakimi
CB: Marquinhos (C)
CB: Lucas Hernandez
LB: Nuno Mendes
DM: Fredrik Aursnes
CM: Vitinha
CM: Aurelien Tchouameni
RW: Ousmane Dembele
ST: Randal Kolo Muani
LW: Kylian Mbappe

I had a couple of tough decisions to make about our starting XI. One was whether to field Milan Skriniar. He is fit for the game, but is returning from injury. I opted to leave him out for fear that he would lack match sharpness. Nuno Mendes has not started a whole heap of games for us, having had a long term injury to begin the save, but since he's been in the side, he's been good.

Another was whether to play Fredrik Aursnes or Manuel Ugarte in the DM spot. Frankly, Ugarte has been better than Aursnes, who has been fairly average since arriving. However, when Aursnes has started, we just look better as a unit. He seems to provide a calm and security that elevates others even if his own performances don't seem spectacular.

And Marco Asensio could consider himself somewhat aggrieved to be left out of the starting line-up, given that he has the highest average rating in Ligue 1. His Champions League performances haven't matched that of Ousmane Dembele's though, so the Frenchman starts.

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I began to question my decision moreso when that aforementioned security that Aursnes bought to the team was diminished somewhat after just 8 minutes. The DM role is an important one in our team, and for him to be on a yellow card for the rest of the game could make it difficult for him to perform as well as he could do.

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Just four minutes later, and Real Madrid had in the ball back of our net through Federico Valverde...


To much relief, however, it was disallowed for a tight offside against Rodrygo in the build up.

We started to put together a few consecutive attacks...

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Aurelien Tchouameni won a header in midfield and found Kylian Mbappe, who picked the ball up in midfield and ran with it.

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Indeed, he ran all the way and scored a magnificent goal to open the scoring! Kylian hasn't had an outstanding Champions League campaign surprisingly, with just 2 goals in 11 appearances, but he stepped up on the biggest of all stages with a magnificent goal. When we needed him most, he delivered.

That was the story of the first half. 1-0 PSG at the break.


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It was not too far into the second half though before Real Madrid got their leveller. Their was no offside flag to deny them this time and the match was all square once more.

With just under half and hour to go and a lull in proceedings, I opted to make a few changes. Milan Skriniar, Manuel Ugarte, Marco Asensio and Goncalo Ramos all entered the fray in a mass subsitution. Lucas Hernandez, Fredrik Aursnes, Ousmane Dembele and Randal Kolo Muani all made way.

The game seemed to be heading to extra time.

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A seemingly aimless ball down the line from Carlos Soler was chased down by Goncalo Ramos.

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He somehow found his way through the Madrid defenders who seemed to have front position and get to the ball ahead of them. The Portuguese international suddenly found himself bearing down on goal with just a few minutes of normal time remaining. Could he put us in front at a crucial stage?

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The answer is...absolutely he can!!! He sent the stadium (the PSG fans at least) into absolute raptures with a dramatic goal through an emphatic finish into the bottom corner of Andriy Lunin's net.

And so there it was...the final whistle sounded...

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WE WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE! It was a tough, tense game, but one that we deserved to win. There were moments where I felt we weren't quite up for it, but we pulled through, played good football for large stretches, and win PSG the Champions League for the very first time in their history.

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There were a small number of shots on target in the game, but we ended with the better of the stats, with 9 corners to their 1 and twice as many efforts on target.

UEFA Champions League Final: Real Madrid vs PSG

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What a season! A treble was great in and of itself, but to win the Champions League was the main aim and ultimate prize for a club that should be winning everything domestically with relative comfort.

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We managed to win every trophy on offer to us this season - the campaign could not have gone any better.
Chapter 8: Season Review


Warren Zaire-Emery

This is the end of the beta save, but I felt it would be worthwhile to wrap things up with a season review post. I was initially planning on a second season, but given that we won everything in the first season, it feels right to end this here.

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We had a few seasonal awards to our name, with Gianluigi Donnarumma being consistently great between the sticks, and Marco Asensio having a tremendous year in the league, contributing a healthy number of both goals and assists.

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The team of the season was similarly filled with our players, as we ended up pretty comfortably being the best team in Ligue 1.

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Of course, I won't be here for next season, but whoever takes my position will have a great player on their hands in Xavi Simons, who won the Newcomer of the Year award in the Bundesliga.

My Player of the Season: Ousmane Dembele
Young Player of the Season: Vitinha

We had what was essentially a perfect season, winning every trophy on offer to us and playing some lovely football. A great start to my FM24 career.