Paris Saint Germain will take to the pitch in an all-yellow kit, celebrating the legacy of its Brazilian players.
PSG’s new away shirt for the 2017/18 season sees a departure from its Parisian roots. The traditional French tricolour has been abolished, & a distinctly South American colourway has samba-ed its way into town: doing several step overs on its way in for good measure.
That’s right, PSG have gone all Brazilian on us. The Beaujolais has been swapped for Brahma, Croissants have turned into quindim, the Eifel Tower is now a giant Christ the Redeemer statue & everyone is doing keepy-ups.
Brazilians have had a special place in the heart of Parisians for a long time. The first one to pull on the the Red, White & Blue, way back in 1971 was Joel Camargo. He may have only played 2 games in the capital, but the cultural significance was clear to see.
Camargo was a pioneer, one of the first South American footballers to make the move to Europe. He paved the way for many mercurial & tantalising talents, which European audiences had only been able to catch a glimpse of every 4 years at a World Cup.
Joel Camargo was one of the first South Americans to play in Europe
This allure only added to the mystique that surrounded Brazilian players, which is why, for better of worse, they very often become cult figures at European clubs.
For every Juninho; thought provoking, dynamic & exhilarating, bringing to Copacabana to Teesside, there’s a Roque Junior with shoes on the wrong feet, seeing red after sending one flying into his own net, his shirt in tatters. But in many ways, that only adds to the romance.
But you haven’t come here to read about the fortunes of Middlesbrough & Leeds, have you? You’ve come here to read about the picturesque streets of Paris & the Brazilians that helped shape the footballing landscape around it.
After several flirtations with Brazilian players in the 80’s & 90’s, the first to go on to become a real club icon was Rai, perhaps better known to some as the younger brother of Socrates.
Rai arrived in Paris in 1993 & in his debut season, PSG won the title. Then that summer he only went & won the World Cup! A languid playmaker, Rai contributed plenty of goals & assists during his 5-year spell at the Parc des Princes, amassing an impressive 51 goals in 145 league appearances.
Rai became a cult hero at PSG
After Rai, there was Ronaldinho; arriving in France as a precociously talented 21-year-old. Like Rai, Ronaldinho went on to win the World Cup during his tenure as PSG player. In doing so, he captured the attention of the world. His lob over a backpedalling David Seaman, like leading an old, faithful, moustachioed horse behind the stables to be shot in the head, will forever be etched into the minds of England fans.
Ronaldinho’s dancing hips & lucid shoulders saw him light up France, where he was snapped up by Barcelona & later won the Balon D’or. Not bad.
Ronaldinho went on to become arguably the greatest player of his generation
After the financial takeover of the club in 2011, PSG had newly found financial firepower & exercised it in the transfer market to add a distinctly Brazilian string to their bow.
In recent years PSG have signed talismanic captain Thiago Silva from Italian giants Milan, who has gone on to lead them to 4 consecutive titles. They also made Marquinhos one of the most expensive teenagers of all time when they signed him as a 19 year old in 2013. He’s since gone on to win numerous honours with the club & become a regular for Brazil.
That very same summer the electric winger Lucas Moura, who had long been touted the future of Brazilian football alongside Neymar, joined from Sao Paulo. Moura has been a mainstay in the championship winning sides & has every chance of becoming a legend both with PSG & Brazil, where he is well on his way to half a century of caps & is still only 24.
Lucas Moura is tipped to go on to do great things
The last Brazilian to sign for PSG was everyone’s favourite afro-sporting, free kick scoring pseudo centre back David Luis. The marauding centre back hopped on the Eurostar as he swapped London for Paris in a mammoth 50 Million Pound move back in 2014.
Frustrating & brilliant in equal measure, Luiz has gained a legion of fans wherever he’s gone. His first season delivered a domestic treble: a feat he repeated in his second season. 6 trophies in 2 years isn’t too shabby for a man Gary Neville once described as “defending like he’s being controlled by a 10-year old on a Playstation”.
When Luiz left Paris, so did the title. Paris concededed it to a plucky Monaco side, thus underlying Luiz’s importance.
David Luiz; known for crazy hair, crazy defending & unstoppable free kicks
The new kit features revolutionary Aeroswift technology & a modern aesthetic that references the club’s heritage through color & detailing.
Reflecting the club’s inner pride & history, “Paris” is knitted onto the back neck, & “Grandeur” & “Passion” are knitted onto the cuff of the sleeve. Here’s hoping PSG’s new away kit can inspire them to reclaim title, in hip-swaying, samba dancing glory.
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