Welcome to the second edition of the weekly series of "A Season in Red and Blue." There has been a lot happening over the past week, and even more coming up as PSG finishes their final preparations for the upcoming season.
This past Saturday saw the debut of Zlatan Ibrahimovic for PSG against DC United. It did not take the Swedish striker long to show why he has created so much buzz around Paris. Ibrahimovic opened his PSG account with a third-minute strike following a couple of nice moves to create some space for the shot. Ibrahimovic was pulled before the end of the first half as weather conditions were less than ideal.
Despite Ibrahimovic's fine debut, PSG only managed a 1-1 draw with the MLS squad after conceding a penalty in the first half. PSG did create several chances, especially near the end of the game, and overall performed well considering the players who were not with the team.
After returning from their North American tour, PSG welcomed Motta and Sirigu back from their holidays. Training this week has picked up the pace as the squad prepares for their final tune-up this Saturday against FC Barcelona.
Barcelona was invited as PSG's opponent for the first edition of the Le Trophee de Paris organised by PSG. Organising events like this will certainly draw more attention to the Paris outfit as the ownership looks for every way to get the club into the spotlight.
The matchup with Barcelona is an intriguing one. Barcelona is rightfully considered one of, if not the, best clubs in the world. Getting exposed to the Barcelona level of play will go a long way in preparations for Champions league competition this season. It will also give an indicator of how far PSG has come, and how far it still has to go.
Neither team will be at full strength, but it will be interesting to see how both coaches play this match. Will Ancelotti stick with working his squad toward match fitness, or will there be pressure to play this as a match that really counts. We should know the answer based on the starting lineup, and how long Ibra, Pastore and Lavezzi are on the pitch.
The Barcelona match will be the final match of the preseason, as the Ligue 1 season kicks off on August 11 at home against FC Lorient. Be sure to check out next week's edition for more news and a profile of PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.