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Not everyone's talking French.


PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN president Nasser Al-Khelaifi had a swagger about him as the Champions League kicked off this week.

He clearly believes his summer splurging has not just earned his club, but French football in general, a seat right at the top of the world game.

"Neymar is an international superstar," he told a reporter, pointing out that 85 million Brazilians watched his unveiling as a PSG player.

"Everybody is asking: 'What's going on in France and in the French league?' Even people who are not interested in football are saying that," he added.

I have to say, it hasn't been the first question on my wife's lips lately, or even people I know who like football. Maybe this is why. Last weekend's 12 EFL Championship games attracted 278,252 fans, which was almost 40,000 more than the 238,364 who paid to watch all the games in France's top league.

The English second tier's average gate last weekend of 23,187 was also higher than this season's La Ligue average of 23,142. That's despite their top side, PSG, boasting a PS420million forward line of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, while the Championship's weekend leaders, Cardiff City, had Kenneth Zohore, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Junior Hoilett bought with the change from the back of the chairman's couch.

So, to everyone in the world asking what's going on in French football the answer is: "Outside of Al-Khelaifi's spending power, nothing new, really."


RICH KIDS Mbappe, Neymar and Cavani

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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion Columns
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Sep 14, 2017
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