Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have undergone significant transformations this summer as they aim to pursue Champions League success.
However, new coach Luis Enrique emphasises that winning European football's top prize will not be an obsession for the Qatar-owned club this season.
In their opening match of a competitive Champions League group that includes AC Milan and Newcastle United, PSG faces Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday. PSG has experienced multiple disappointments in the competition lately, with their exit in the last 16 against Bayern Munich last season marking the fifth time in seven years.
After being finalists in 2020, PSG's progress stalled, with the signing of Lionel Messi ultimately not yielding the desired results. Messi and Neymar left the club during a summer overhaul that continued up until last week, when Marco Verratti was transferred to Qatari side Al-Arabi for approximately 50 million euros ($53.3 million).
PSG President Nasser al-Khelaifi decided it was time for a change, leading to a significant squad reconstruction in recent months while retaining Kylian Mbappe following a contract dispute.
Approximately 350 million euros were spent on new players, with the largest expenditure going towards the acquisition of French forward Randal Kolo Muani from Eintracht Frankfurt for a reported 75 million euros plus bonuses. Other notable signings include Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, Uruguay midfielder Manuel Ugarte, defensive duo Milan Skriniar and Lucas Hernandez, Real Madrid's Marco Asensio, Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos, and promising Lyon winger Bradley Barcola.
Despite these changes, both Luis Enrique and captain Marquinhos sought to temper expectations regarding PSG's European prospects this season.
Marquinhos stated, "There is no added pressure when it comes to the Champions League. It is not an obsession. We want to get to the very top, but we know the path that we have to take. It is long, so we have to work hard and go one step at a time."
Luis Enrique, who won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2015, cautioned against becoming obsessed with success, emphasising the need for hope and ambition without excessive pressure.
PSG have had a slow start in domestic competitions, currently sitting fifth in Ligue 1 with only two wins in their first five matches. Despite this, Luis Enrique believes that with time, the team's good football and positive results will come as the players adapt to new concepts and strategies.