I love Paris, the food, the sights, the people, the atmosphere of the place. So it came as a surprise when I watched Messi and Neymar booed by their own PSG fans after their elimination from the Champions League. The greatest of all time and a talented show pony, both the toast of the city recently, as persona non grata. How can it be?
The short version of events is that PSG were eliminated because neither did enough running around against Real Madrid to prevent their elimination. This is a bit unfair. A shark is a shark. If you swim with one, you should know how it will behave.
When it comes to energy, Messi, for all his exalted status, is more Charlie Nicholas than Frank McGarvey. His Brazilian protégée, Neymar, was always going to behave like his master. Maybe Messi’s game would be hampered, if he put in the hard miles, I doubt he ever found out.
I also doubt Leo has seen the best of Paris: the Tower, Montmartre, Sacre Coeur. No matter how long he stays, he will remain an unknown recluse, inevitably leaving behind fans who wonder what they were initially thinking. Still, booing your own after a defeat? It’s not a good look. A PSG decline, without the prize they really want, seems inevitable.
It hurt when Bodo/Glimt taught us a lesson home and away last month. Having already eliminated AZ Alkmaar from one European competition this season, we would feel hopeful of doing so again, if we faced them in the Conference League, instead of Bogo/Glimt.
There are compensations, primarily our hunt for the league title. Instead of journeys to Netherlands, all the focus at Lennoxtown this week is on facing Ross County at Celtic Park on Saturday. It has been a while since we were this confident.