The Marseille coach, André Villas-Boas, has been resounding a few hours after the PSG-Marseille of the French Super Cup. “Marseille has not won anything since PSG changed the air of French football. Marseille is not to blame either, it is the reality of the most unbalanced championship in the world. The normal thing is for PSG to win all domestic competitions and nothing else, “said Villas-Boas. Mauricio Pochettino, for his part, has been cautious and has simply limited itself to respecting the opinion of the Portuguese. “I respect your statements, I have absolutely nothing to discuss.” The debate has already opened in the French press; in a survey of France Football 56% endorse the thesis of the Portuguese coach while 44% do not believe that the French championship is so unbalanced.
Villas-Boas’ words express a feeling shared by French football clubs and fans in recent years. The purchase of PSG by Qatar in 2011 completely changed the face of a team that used to struggle to enter Europe or that was located in the middle zone of the leaderboard. Since 2012, with the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG became one of the great ocean liners in European football and has established a dynasty that only Monaco has dared to answer. However, the dominance of PSG has not been the only one that has occurred in Ligue 1, the last precedent was that of that Lyon of the 2000 who won seven consecutive titles. The big difference is that those championships were much more contested than those not achieved by PSG in the 2010s.
Lyon won their first league in the 02/01 campaign and from then on they began to collect trophies like someone who compiles stickers. Juninho Pernambucano, Grégory Coupet and Sidney Govou were the great names of a practically unbeatable team while, little by little, Gerland’s head emerged from a certain youth squad named Karim Benzema. Lyon’s superiority in those seven dream seasons was translated as follows: the smallest difference in points it had with the second classified was 1 point in the 02/03 campaign. It was a brilliant Monaco, led by Ludovic Giuly and Fernando Morientes, among others, who the following year played in the Champions League final. From season 04/05 to 06/07, Lyon really started to drive a wedge between their pursuers: achieved the greatest difference in points with respect to the second classified, about 17. The rest of the seasons were quite even, Lyon could not afford a sigh because their opponents did not give truce and the championship used to be decided by two or four points.
Unlike Lyon, PSG have not had such a close title race in the last decade. Only Monaco, in the 16/17 campaign, was able to put a hiatus on the Parisian monopoly from the hand of a team that, despite its youth, showed great impudence thanks to boisterous footballers like Kylian Mbappé, Bernardo Silva and Fabinho.
During their particular reign in domestic competition, the biggest difference in points that PSG took out from the second classified was a veritable abyss: Laurent Blanc’s men achieved a difference of 31 points over Lyon in the 15/16 season. The smallest difference in points between PSG and a runner-up was 8. The dominance was such in recent years that in the media of the Parisian capital, in mid-March, the following dilemma has almost always been raised: reserve the starters so that PSG arrives fresh for the Champions League or, on the contrary, play with them so that the team arrives completely rolled for the European qualifiers. A dilemma that only the great teams of the continent can pose at this point in the season.