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Are Paris Saint-Germain One Of The Greatest Club Sides Ever?

Paris Saint-Germain are in the midst of one of the most impressive seasons in the history of European club football. Their overall record in competitive matches reads 38 wins, six draws and only two losses. Those two losses came at the hands of Real Madrid, in Madrid, and away to Lyon at the formidable and newly opened Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

They captured the Trophée des Champions, the French season’s curtain raiser, back in August and have now claimed their fourth straight Ligue 1 title with eight matches to spare. They’ve reached the final of the Coupe de la Ligue, the semi-final of the Coupe de France and the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.

PSG are dreaming of an unprecedented five trophies this campaign, a feat which would cement their place among the greatest European club sides ever assembled. 

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas believes Paris Saint-Germain are “the best French team of all-time”. High praise given that Aulas was the president of Lyon during their own unprecedented run of seven straight Ligue 1 titles.

“Everybody needs to be aware that this is an incredible achievement,” says Aulas. “The Parisians allow themselves to win wherever they want and whenever they want. This is much better than what we did, admittedly. They’re the best French team of all-time.” 

While PSG look set to shatter the record for the highest number of points collected in a single Ligue 1 season, a record that they themselves set over the 2013/14 season, their progress in Europe will ultimately determine their place among European footballing lore.  

At this point in time, where do PSG rank when measured against the greatest club sides the world has ever seen? If PSG were to capture a European and domestic treble, would this current side be remembered as one of the greatest of all-time?

As a point of reference, we’ve compiled the statistics of some of Europe’s most formidable treble winners. These include Manchester United (1998/99), Internazionale (2009/10), Bayern Munich (2012/13) and Barcelona (2014/15). Where do the Parisian giants rank?

Are Paris Saint-Germain One Of The Greatest Clubs Sides Ever?

#1: Barcelona (2014/15)

Best Team Ever: Barcelona

Photo: @Jaimefmacias | Twitter

  • La Liga - Games: 38 | Wins: 30 | Draws: 4 | Losses: 4
  • Copa del Rey - Games: 9 | Wins: 9
  • Champions League - Games: 13 | Wins: 11 | Losses: 2

TOTAL - Games: 60 | Wins: 50 | Draws: 4 | Losses: 6 | Goal Difference: +137

Barcelona’s 2014/15 side is considered by many to be the greatest team in the history of European football. Their nearest rival for that accolade may well be this year’s edition of Barcelona. They compiled a win percentage of 83.3% throughout all competitions that season while dominating a league containing the likes of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and a strong Valencia side.  

Their achievements in Europe were no less impressive. After finishing atop a Champions League group containing PSG, they went on to eliminate Manchester City, PSG, Bayern Munich and Juventus on their way to European glory.

Star players: Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Dani Alves, Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets

#2: Bayern Munich (2012/13)

Best Team Ever: Bayern Munich

Photo: @Squawka | Twitter

  • Bundesliga - Games: 34 | Wins: 29 | Draws: 4 | Losses: 1
  • DFB-Pokal - Games: 6 | Wins: 6   DFL-Supercup - Games: 1 | Wins: 1
  • Champions League - Games: 13 | Wins: 10 | Draws: 1 | Losses: 2

TOTAL - Games: 54 | Wins: 46 | Draws: 5 | Losses: 3 | Goal Difference: +118

Bayern Munich’s 2012/13 season boasted a remarkable win percentage of 85.1% across all competitions. They finished as Bundesliga champions with a 25-point gap over their nearest rivals, Borussia Dortmund. 

Their Champions League success was achieved by eliminating Arsenal, Juventus, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. Their 7-0 aggregate victory over Barcelona in the semi-finals will live long in the memory as one of the most efficient and ruthless victories in the history of the knockout phase. 

Star players: Manuel Neuer, Dante, Philipp Lahm, David Alba, Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, Mario Mandzukic, Bastian Schweinsteiger

#3: Paris Saint-Germain (2015/16)

Best Team Ever: Paris Saint-Germain

Photo: @BBCSport | Twitter

  • Ligue 1 - Games: 30 | Wins: 24 | Draws: 5 | Losses: 1
  • Coupe de la Ligue - Games: 3 | Wins: 3  Coupe de France - Games: 4 | Wins: 4
  • Trophée des Champions - Games: 1 | Won: 1
  • Champions League - Games: 8 | Wins: 6 | Draws: 1 | Losses: 1

TOTAL - Games: 46 | Wins: 38 | Draws: 6 | Losses: 2 | Goal Difference: +88

PSG have captured two trophies while compiling a win percentage of 82.6% across all competitions. They’ve advanced from a Champions League group containing Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmo before eliminating Chelsea in the Round of 16. 

They have two months remaining in which their immediate targets will be a Champions League quarterfinal, a Coupe de la Ligue final against Lille and a Coupe de France semifinal against Lorient.   

Star players: Thiago Silva, Lucas, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Angel Di Maria, Thiago Motta, Edinson Cavani

#4: Internazionale (2009/10)

Best Team Ever: Inter Milan

Photo: @SuperbFootyPics | Twitter

  • Serie A - Games: 38 | Wins: 24 | Draws: 10 | Losses: 4
  • Coppa Italia - Games: 5 | Wins: 5  Italian Super Cup - Games: 1 | Losses: 1
  • Champions League - Games: 13 | Wins: 8 | Draws: 3 | Losses: 2

TOTAL - Games: 57 | Wins: 37 | Draws: 13 | Losses: 7 | Goal Difference: +53

The 2009/10 Inter Milan side, coached by Jose Mourinho, didn’t blow its competition out of the water. Their win percentage of 64.9% and goal difference of +53 comes far behind the previous teams on this list. They beat Roma to the Serie A title by two points and also edged them to the Coppa Italia title after a 1-0 victory in the final.

Their triumph in the Champions League included a memorable 3-2 aggregate victory over Barcelona, with Inter’s 3-1 victory in Italy showing the world that the Catalan giants could not only be defeated but be beaten comprehensively. 

Star players: Julio Cesar, Javier Zanetti, Lucio, Maicon, Samuel Eto’o, Wesley Sneijder, Diego Milito, Mario Balotelli 

#5: Manchester United (1998/99) 

Best Team Ever: Manchester United

Photo: @manutdboy93 | Twitter

  • Premier League - Games: 38 | Wins: 22 | Draws: 13 | Losses: 3 
  • FA Cup - Games: 8 | Wins: 6 | Draws: 2  League Cup - Games: 3 | Wins: 2 | Losses: 1
  • FA Charity Shield - Games: 1 | Losses: 1
  • Champions League - Games: 13 | Wins: 6 | Draws: 7

TOTAL - Games: 63 | Wins: 36 | Draws: 22 | Losses: 5 | Goal Difference: +63 

Eliminated by Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup, trounced by Arsenal in the FA Charity Shield and runners-up in their Champions League group, the 1998/99 Manchester United team, against all odds, still managed to to become the first English side to capture the treble.

In the FA Cup, United were forced into replays against both Chelsea and Arsenal, with the Arsenal matched needing extra time to decide a winner. The captured the Premier League title over Arsenal by a difference of a single point. However, winning the Champions League was easily the greatest miracle of all.

The qualified for the group stage having narrowly defeated LKS Lodz in qualifying. After drawing four of their six group matches, they narrowly advanced to the knockout phase over Barcelona. A wild victory over Juventus in the semi-final brought them face to face with Bayern Munich. Munich looked destined to lift the trophy until United scored two goals in stoppage time to stun the Bavarians.

Star players: Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Denis Irwin, Wes Brown

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