From Galácticos to Galactiques

A joke meme has been circulating with a photo of Lewis Hamilton, who is identified as PSG's latest signing… to drive the team bus. It is quite possibly inspired by a joke that L’Équipe pulled some years back: one fan said to another: "Madrid have also signed Beckham", to which the other replied: "And Schumacher to drive the bus."

Beckham was the fourth Galáctico to be signed after Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo, completing a formidable force in which there were others who weren’t far off the quartet’s level of excellence, namely Raúl, Roberto Carlos and Iker Casillas.

Now there are no Galacticos, but Galactiques, of which there are three: Messi, Neymar and Mbappé, accompanied by a handful of other very notable players. This is the first time that there has been such a fabulous concentration of talent in Paris, a city in which football fans had suffered for many years.

Kylian Mbappe of PSG during the French championship Ligue 1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and RC Strasbourg on August 14, 2021 at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France.

The Galaqtique era begins in Paris

Paris used to view football as more of a "provincial" thing. It has been a long time since Canal+ France tried to elevate the game by buying PSG in 1991. But it has only been now, with the excessive capital of the club’s Qatari owners and the blind eye of UEFA, that it has been able to reach this unmatchable team dynamic. It can be said that PSG now has the best three players in the world (Cristiano Ronaldo is fading) and that only Erling Haaland would be missing to complete the Galactique quartet.

I'm very curious to see how this team’s performance will go, a team that has spent years on its efforts to win the Champions League, without which you are a nobody. Personally, I crazily enjoyed the time of the Galácticos of Madrid (it was this newspaper that first introduced the term Galácticos, by the way), but that was prematurely undone amid a world of excessive vanities.

That led me to think that the Galácticos are better off in seperate teams: Cristiano at Madrid, Messi at Barça (Neymar ran away from under Messi’s shadow). From PSG we can expect exhibition games in Ligue 1, which is a relatively small league, but we will have to see their performance in the later stages of the Champions League to truly judge this team of Galactiques.