Soccer players never get tired of playing the game.

That’s what this page is all about.

Where your FIRST TOUCH SOCCER book ends, the FREE KICK page begins.

It’s a chance for you to learn more about Paris Saint-Germain … and for me to talk about some of the great stories I couldn’t squeeze into the book.

Scroll down to get the latest news … and to learn more about French soccer. And check out some of the cool collectibles I have in my home.

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Breaking News

Isso Cissokho
(© Panini)

What’s up with Paris Saint-Germain

August 23, 2020: PSG made it to the Champions League final, but lost a close game to Bayern Munich, 1–0. Their great scorers, Neymar and Kilian Mbappe, had several chances but could not find the net. Argentinian stars Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi gave the club four superstar forwards in 2019–20.

August 3, 2020: PSG defeated Rennes 2–1 to win the Trophee des Champions. The victory gave the club a “treble” in 2020 as they won three tournaments, including the Coupe de France and Coupe de la League. PSG also won the regular season title earlier in the year, as its record was 22–3–2 when the season ended due to the pandemic.

August 3, 2019: Paris Saint-Germain won the French Super Cup (Trophée des Champions) with a 2–1 victory over Rennes. The match was played in Shenzen, China.

May 24, 2019: The club lost its final match to Reims but finished atop the Ligue 1 standings with 29 victories. Kylian Mbappe won Player of the Year honors and led the league with 33 goals.

February 12, 2019: PSG defeated Manchester United 2–0 in an away match in UEFA Champions League play. 20-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe and 23-year-old defender Presnel Kimpembe scored.

February 3, 2019: The club fell to Lyon 2–1, losing for just the first time in the 2018–19 season. The team had been unbeaten in 22 league games to start the year.

November 24, 2018: Edinson Cavani scored the only goal in a 1–0 win over Toulouse FC. It was his 10th goal of the season and PSG’s 14th victory in a row.

March 31, 2018: The club blanked Monaco in the League Cup final to win the title for the eighth time. Angel Di Maria scored once and Edinson Cavani scored twice for PSG.

August 13, 2017: Neymar Jr. scored a goal in his first game for PSG in a 3–0 victory over EA Guingamp.

August 3, 2017: PSG completed a deal to bring Neymar Jr. to the club for the 2017–18 season. It was the most expensive transfer in the history of soccer. PSG paid F.C. Barcelona 222 million pounds for the Brazilian star.

May 27, 2017: Paris Saint-Germain defeated Angers 1–0 to win the Coupe de France (French Cup) tournament. Isso Cissokho scored the winning goal. It was the club’s 11th Cup victory.

Ligue 1 & Coupe de France

  • The top tier of French soccer is Ligue 1. Twenty teams play in Ligue 1. The schedule has 38 games—each team plays the other 19 teams once at home and once away. The season begins in late summer and ends in May. The Ligue 1 teams with the poorest records are dropped down (“relegated”) to Ligue 2. They are replaced by the top teams from Ligue 2, which are promoted to the top level.

  • The Coupe de France (French Cup) is an annual tournament organized by the French Football Federation. It is open to all French soccer teams, both professional and amateur—more than 8,000 in all!

Collector’s Corner

Luis Fernandez
(© Panini)

Rai
(© The Upper Deck Company)

Pauleta
(© Futera FZ)

More treasures from the author’s collection!

  • Mustapha Dahleb — Midfielder
    1974–1984
    More than 40 years after joining PSG, Mustapha Dahleb still ranks among the all-time great soccer players from Algeria. The attacking midfielder scored 85 goals for the club in Ligue 1 play.

  • Luis Fernandez — Midfielder
    1978–1986
    Luis Fernandez was born in Spain but grew up in France. His strong defense helped PSG win two French Cup and one Ligue 1 title. Fernandez later became the club’s manager (head coach) and led the team to the 1996 Cup Winners’ Cup championship.

  • Valdo — Midfielder
    1991–1995
    Few players made PSG fans leap out of their seats as often as Valdo (Valdo Candido de Oliveira Filho) did. The Brazilian star was a key to the team’s 1995 Ligue 1 championship.

  • David Ginola — Forward
    1992–1995
    David Ginola was the country’s best one-on-one player during his time with Paris Saint-Germain. He scored 33 goals in three seasons—many on spectacular drives to the net.

  • George Weah — Forward
    1992–95
    Paris Saint-Germain enjoyed its greatest period of success during George Weah’s years on the team. He was a quick and powerful shooter, as well as an unselfish team player. Weah led all players with 7 goals during the 1994–95 Champions League, as PSG made it all the way to the semifinals.

  • Rai — Midfielder
    1993–1998
    Rai (Rai Souza Vieira de Oliveira) was the first South American superstar to play for PSG. His popularity and success in Paris opened the door for those who followed. He scored 51 goals in five seasons for the club and was a key player in PSG’s 1996 Cup Winners’ Cup championship.

  • Pauleta — Forward
    2003–2008
    Pauleta (Pedro-Miguel Carreiro Resendes) finished his long career with Paris Saint-Germain. In his first season, he scored the winning goal in the French Cup final, a 1–0 victory over Chateauroux. In all, Pauleta scored 109 goals for PSG in Ligue 1 and tournament play.

Fun Facts

Did You Know?

• Paris Saint-Germain was formed in 1970 when two existing clubs—Paris FC and Stade Saint Germain joined forces.

• PSG sponsors teams in other sports, including basketball, rugby, hockey, auto racing, and eSports.

• In 2013, David Beckham played 10 games for Paris Saint-Germain, helping PSG win the Ligue 1 title. He donated his entire salary to charity.

• In 2014–15, the club won a French “quadruple”—Ligue 1 title, Ligue Cup, French Cup, and Champions’ Trophy. One year later, PSG did it again!

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