The head of the French FA wants the Ligue 1 champions to play more homegrown players, and says Neymar has been absent for too many big games in Europe
Paris Saint-Germain would improve in Europe with a ‘more French’ approach, according to French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet.
While he admits the Parisians’ cause has not been helped by enforced absences for star man Neymar, Le Graet also believes the Brazilian has to do more for the club.
PSG have failed to progress past the quarter-finals of the Champions League despite huge investment in the playing squad and only made the last 16 in the last two years.
“PSG will win when they have a real team,” Le Graet told Canal+. “When they find a formula that is maybe a little more French.
“I am sorry but I believe that in every country, the base of the national team is often in a big club.”
Of the 15 PSG players to have made the most appearances in all competitions last season, only three were French. Of those three, one – goalkeeper Alphonse Areola – has been linked with a move away from the club, while Parisian midfielder Adrien Rabiot looks set to join Juventus.
“PSG have an international team, which is magnificent,” Le Graet continued. “Except that they don’t get beyond the quarter-finals. So we have to ask ourselves some questions. It isn’t a criticism.
“Myself, I would like our country to become better ranked thanks to PSG. The other teams are working, but they are a long way off.”
This year’s Champions League debacle saw PSG crash out to a makeshift Manchester United side in the last 16, thanks to Marcus Rashford’s controversial last-gasp penalty.
Manager Thomas Tuchel was without Neymar for both legs of the tie due to a foot injury, though his disbelieving pitchside reaction to Rashford’s winner went viral after the game.
“Fragile, I have the impression that he is injured quite often, despite himself,” Le Graet admitted.
“The player is fantastic. When you watch him play, it makes you happy.
“That said, he hasn’t been present for the big competitions; often injured, often absent, not there for the big games in the Champions League, often absent with his team in Brazil.
“I don’t know enough to criticise him, but maybe it is because of his lifestyle… but I put a big maybe there. I don’t want to criticise him without knowing for sure.
“He is an extraordinary technician, and he has helped PSG financially with his marketing, but that isn’t enough.”