A good two weeks before the Champions League cracker against FC Bayern, there is also an alarm mood at French champions Paris Saint-Germain around world champion Lionel Messi.
"From champagne to sparkling wine. Greater doubts," wrote the sports newspaper "L'Équipe" after the star ensemble's sobering performance in the 1-1 draw against Stade Reims. With four points from four games since the beginning of the year, PSG's points average is just as inadequate as that of FC Bayern, who are visiting the first leg of the round of 16 in Paris' Prinzenpark on February 14.
"Fortunately, Bayern are not in the form of their lives. But hoping that the opponent is in worse shape cannot be the best way to qualify for this competition," it said. With 48 points, PSG sit just three points ahead of RC Lens, who suffered a defeat at the start of the year. "That's not enough when you're PSG," said coach Christophe Galtier, referring to the haul in recent games.
Get stars out of the "comfort zone".
"As a coach, you cannot be satisfied with what is happening. There will be decisions to be made," added Galtier, wanting to get his stars out of their "comfort zone". "I have high quality players who have not been able to accept this level since the beginning of the year." All the stars were in the starting XI against Reims, without a resounding success. Only the Brazilian Neymar scored for the interim lead. PSG still have four games before the duel with Bayern, including tricky away games at Olympique Marseille and AS Monaco.
It is possible that the capital club will still be active on the transfer market, in particular central defender Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan is under discussion. "There are restrictions on financial fair play. A coach likes to have reinforcements when there is a departure. I don't know if it will happen," said Galtier, also with a view to Pablo Sarabia's departure to Wolverhampton.