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Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League failures: All 12 times PSG have fallen short since Qatari takeover

Kylian Mbappe

After twelve seasons, seven managers and nearly €2billion spent, Paris Saint-Germain’s wait to finally win the Champions League under their Qatari owners continues.

The French champions’ latest failed attempt came at the hands of Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals despite Luis Enrique’s men being heavily tipped as favourites ahead of the tie.

We look at all the times PSG have fallen short in their bid to be crowned champions of Europe.

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2012-13 – Quarter-finals

Carlo Ancelotti took charge of a new-look PSG side boasting the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and David Beckham and looked ready to take the competition by storm.

After narrowly beating Valencia 3-2 over two legs in the last 16, they drew 3-3 with Barcelona on aggregate in the quarter-finals, with Lionel Messi and Co progressing on away goals courtesy of a late Xavi penalty.

2013-14 – Quarter-finals

With Laurent Blanc having replaced Ancelotti, they looked in even better shape after dispatching Bayer Leverkusen 6-1 in the last 16.

But the Parisians would suffer more away-goals heartbreak as their journey once again ended in the last eight.

This time it was against Chelsea as Demba Ba’s 87th-minute strike sealed a 2-0 win for the Blues at Stamford Bridge and send them through.

2014-15 – Quarter-finals

The Ligue 1 side got their revenge against the West Londoners a year later, edging a thrilling tie after extra time thanks to goals from David Luiz and Thiago Silva at Stamford Bridge.

But they were once again dumped out by Barcelona in the quarter-finals with a Luis Suarez masterclass inspiring the eventual champions to a 6-1 aggregate thrashing.


2015-16 – Quarter-finals

PSG’s quarter-final hoodoo continued in 2015-16, with it being Manchester City’s turn to deal the crushing blow.

They had once again beaten Chelsea in the first round of knockout but Manuel Pellegrini’s Citizens were too strong for them, with Kevin de Bruyne scoring the crucial winner in the second leg after a 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes.

2016-17 – Last 16

The 2016-17 exit is perhaps one that still haunts PSG the most after being on the wrong end of one of the Champions League’s most extraordinary comebacks.

Unai Emery’s men were in pole position to reach the quarter-finals after a 4-0 win against Barcelona in the first leg.

But a sensational 6-1 defeat at the Camp Nou – sealed through Sergi Roberto’s last-gasp winner – sent the stunned Parisians crashing out once again.

2017-18 – Last 16

That following summer, PSG chiefs decided to splash out a world record €222m on Brazilian star Neymar – the man who had inspired that memorable comeback for Barca.

But having the 2015 Champions League winner in their ranks was not enough as they were comfortably beaten in the last 16 by Real Madrid.

2018-19 – Last 16

Two last-16 defeats were enough for Emery to lose his job but replacement Thomas Tuchel was unable to improve on their record in his first season.

And once again it was a second-leg comeback that proved their undoing, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United the victors thanks to Marcus Rashford’s late penalty in the French capital.

2019-20 – Final

The 2019-20 campaign remains the closest PSG have come to football’s top prize after narrowly losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the final.

To add insult to injury in the behind-closed-doors final in Lisbon, it was one of their former academy graduates who did the damage as Kingsley Coman’s header won a sixth title for the German giants.


2020-21 – Semi-finals

Mauricio Pochettino was installed as the man to finally deliver the goods in his first job since leaving Tottenham, who he had taken to the final two years earlier.

But despite doing better than most, the Argentine’s side fell well short in the semi-final against Pep Guardiola’s Man City, who were eventually beaten by former boss Tuchel’s Chelsea in the final.

2021-22 – Last 16

In a season that marked 10 years since Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s involvement, the Qatari chief doubled down on his strategy of building a team of world superstars by bringing Lionel Messi to the club.

But even having the seven-time Ballon d’Or leading their line could not deliver prize they most desired as Karim Benzema’s hat-trick inspired Real Madrid to victory in the last 16.

2022-23 – Last 16

Messi’s second and final season in Paris arguably resulted in their poorest performance yet as they were dumped out in the last 16 without scoring a goal.

It was once again Bayern who had the nouse over their inferior opponents, winning 1-0 in Paris before a 2-0 victory at the Allianz Arena.

2023-24 – Semi-finals

The script was written for Kylian Mbappe to finally lead PSG to Champions League glory in his final season with the club after dispatching Barcelona in impressive style in the quarter-finals.

But a resolute Dortmund display prevented their favoured opponents from scoring in the tie, despite 44 attempts from Mbappe and Co over the two legs.

Niclas Fullkrug and Mats Hummels netted in each leg to deal heartbreak for the 12th consecutive season and leave PSG with yet more questions over how to finally conquer Europe.

Picture of Cian Cheesbrough

Cian Cheesbrough

Cian is a sports journalist with a wealth of experience writing for national titles, including LiveScore, MailOnline, Eurosport and Sky Sports. He has covered a number of key events during his time in the industry, including from the press box at live Champions League fixtures.

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