Paris will know. Fallers of Real Sociedad (2-0, 2-1) in the round of 16, Luis Enrique’s players return to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2021, the eighth appearance of the capital club so far. level and the seventh under QSI. A milestone that they have only passed three times, in 1995 (half), 2020 (final) and 2021 (half). PSG will be decided on its fate this Friday (12 p.m.), during the draw in Switzerland. Draw which will also involve the table until the final on June 1, at Wembley Stadium in London. We now know the entire plateau. After Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Real Madrid last week, Arsenal, Barcelona, ​​Atlético Madrid and Borussia Dortmund have booked their ticket to the European Top 8. Clubs that PSG knows well, even very well, having faced them in recent years, except Atlético.

Looking at the Premier League standings, dominated by Arsenal, one could imagine that Manchester City is more takeable than usual. This is not the case. Pep Guardiola’s men are still as strong as last year, when they achieved the championship/FA Cup/Champions League treble. Quality in all positions, all positions doubled, experience, talent, the best center forward in the world in the person of Erling Haaland and the world number 1 when it comes to distilling caviars with Kevin de Bruyne… The Skyblues have no flaws, having already dismissed the Parisians in the quarters (2016) and semis (2021) of the Champions League. They also finished ahead of the Rouge et Bleu in the group stage, in 2021. 2-0 victory for Paris in the first leg, 2-1 for City in the return. Clearly, this is the draw to avoid. This is probably what the other seven competing teams think, not just Paris.

Sportingly, City is undoubtedly the club to avoid. Real are not far behind… Already because Casa Blanca is as impressive on paper as on the pitch, with the summer reinforcement of Jude Bellingham and young stars in constant progress, Vinicius Jr in the lead. And even when Carlo Ancelotti’s players don’t shine, they have this almost mystical force to push them to victory. Some will also say that they benefit from the help of the referees. It is not the recent match against Leipzig that will make them change their mind, Toni Kroos and especially Vinicius having miraculously avoided an expulsion. Still, PSG-Real would also and above all be a poster… as uncomfortable as possible. There has yet been no official announcement, but Kylian Mbappé’s future is clear, he will go to Santiago-Bernabeu next season. A duel between the two clubs would give rise to an XXL media circus. Could “KM” remain unresponsive, as was the case in 2022? Would he miss his subject like George Weah in 1995, facing AC Milan that he would join the following summer?

PSG have crossed paths with Real 12 times in the European Cup. But the two clubs he faced the most were Barça and Bayern, 13 matches each. Two teams still in the running in these quarter-finals. On paper, Barcelona and especially Munich seem superior to Paris-SG. Their season, however, does not go as planned. In the championship, they are already almost out of the race for the title. Moreover, Xavi and Thomas Tuchel will leave their positions at the end of the season, this has already been confirmed. Barça is drowning in injuries (Gavi, Pedri, De Jong, etc.) while Bayern seems to be at the end of its cycle.

However, Tuchel’s players crushed Bochum 8-1 last weekend. A result which allows us to remember the obvious: Barcelona and Munich are perhaps not as dashing as we could have imagined at the start of the season, they remain no less dangerous. It would also be the occasion for numerous reunions for the different clubs concerned, whether among the coaches (Tuchel, Luis Enrique) or the players (Dembélé, Choupo, Coman, Hernandez). Bayern or Barça, déjà vu for Paris.

Inter Milan, best team in Europe? Some thought so at the start of the week. However, it was Atlético who got the better of the leaders of the Italian championship in the round of 16. A duel against the Colchoneros would represent a first for PSG. It would also and above all be quite a clash of cultures, between the cautious Diego Simeone and the adventurous Luis Enrique. Not to mention the Mbappé/Griezmann duel. PSG-Atlético would also be an opportunity for Lucas Hernandez to find his former club.

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PSG-Arsenal would be the promise of two high-level and undoubtedly exciting matches between two teams that are similar: young, focused on the game with a Spanish coach, fast attackers, talent… He’s not crazy about say that the Gunners are a little better equipped in certain positions, particularly in midfield. Their status as leader in the Premier League speaks for them, even if they are novices at this stage of the C1 competition. Still, it would be an attractive and open poster.

Winners of PSV Eindhoven in the 8th, the Dortmund players would not represent an insurmountable obstacle for PSG. BVB 09 is obviously not a second-rate team, but it is undoubtedly the weakest on the field. Paris had also got the better of the Ruhr club in the group stage earlier in the season, with a 2-0 victory at the Parc and a 1-1 draw at Signal Iduna Park. However, it was Edin Terzic’s players who finished at the top of this group, who currently occupy fourth place in the Bundesliga standings. PSG won in the 8th round, in 2020 (1-2, 2-0), just before the break due to Covid. Clearly, a PSG-Dortmund is not a taste of exoticism, but it is the poster which would offer the best chances of qualification.