It is without a doubt that Paris Saint-Germain are the biggest football club in France, and the French powerhouses proceeded to show their supremacy once again in the Trophée des Champions at home yesterday. With goals from Lee Kang-in and Kylian Mbappé, Luis Enrique’s Paris Saint-Germain ended the game as the 2-0 winners against Toulouse FC at Parc des Princes, and the resounding victory allowed them to win the Trophée des Champions for a record 12th time, having done so back in 1995, 1998, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022. PSG also have finished the competition as the runners-up five times prior to last night’s match.
Lee and Mbappé Influential for PSG’s 12th Triumph at the Trophée des Champions
Luis Enrique altered his first 11 that beat FC Metz 3-1 at the same venue with three changes in this Trophée des Champions, reintegrating Achraf Hakimi, Lucas Hernández and Ousmane Dembélé back to the starting lineup, whereas Toulouse FC, who have not won a single match since October 2023 before the Trophée des Champions last night, had a couple of changes in their opening lineup in this game.
The home team got off to a perfect start and broke the deadlock as early as the third minute in this Trophée des Champions via new summer signing Lee Kang-in. The 22-year-old South Korean attacker, who have only scored twice in his previous 15 games in all competitions since moving to the French capital for €22 million, capitalised on the visitors’ poor man marking inside the penalty box. Lee had to thank Vitinha for delivering a superb long ball into the dangerous zone and Ousmane Dembélé’s delicious first time pass that eventually led to his opener in the game.
Things turned from bad to worse for Toulouse FC moments before the half-time break could save them. A brilliant team play that started from the defensive backline saw Bradley Barcola find Kylian Mbappé just outside the penalty box. The 25-year-old France national team captain showed why he is arguably the best footballer at the moment, as he dribbled between two opponents, followed by a shot that found the back of the net at the bottom right corner. Guillaume Restes’s inability to save the shot meant Mbappé has now scored 22 goals in 23 games in all tournaments for Paris Saint-Germain in the 2023/2024 Season, and his strike sealed the 2-0 victory in the 2023 Trophée des Champions.
View this post on Instagram
Luis Enrique Won His First Title as the PSG Head Coach
The triumph at Trophée des Champions gave Luis Enrique his inaugural silverware as the manager of PSG, who said: “The goal is always to win. Finals are always special matches, matches in which, over 90 minutes, you have to be able to play better than your opponents. And I think we played exceptionally well, perhaps the best match since we’ve been working together. It’s a shame that we couldn’t maintain the same level in the second half, but Toulouse played very well in after the break. I feel great. I’m honestly very happy. I hope it won’t be my last.”
The 53-year-year Spanish head coach’s jubilant mood was echoed by his club captain Marquinhos. “It’s the best way to start the year, with a trophy. It gives you even more energy, even more motivation to keep working and keep moving forward. It gives you the peace of mind and confidence to get the year off to a good start. It comes at a very important moment in the season, and starting 2024 with a trophy was very important. We were all highly motivated, and the coach had prepared us well too. The fans are happy, it’s the best way to grow more and more, to build this team, and make this bond even stronger,” said the Brazilian defender.
20-year-old Lucas Beraldo, who made his professional debut for Paris Saint-Germain, added a few choices of words on winning the Trophée des Champions: “I’m very happy. I never even imagined I’d be playing a match today. I didn’t know if I was going to be called up or not. And God gave me the opportunity to play and win a trophy in my first game, so I don’t think there’s any way to explain that feeling. The welcome? Yes, the fans screamed every time I touched the ball. I can’t thank them enough.”