By Chukwuka Joseph (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – The similarities between Paris Saint-Germain and Leipzig end in the fact both clubs are trying to make it to the Champions League final for the first time. The French powerhouse arrives to Tuesday’s semifinal with its Qatari money and high-profile squad, while the German club comes with its Red Bull backing and a team of mostly untested players.
At Benfica’s Stadium of Light, it will be Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and his teammates taking on a Leipzig squad with little Champions League experience. Leipzig has almost nothing to lose. For PSG, anything short of the title will feel like a disappointment for a club where a priority aim has been to breakthrough with the European title after years of dominance in France.
PSG became a European contender under its Qatari owners, but Leipzig is just starting to try to make its mark in Europe under energy drink company Red Bull, which in 2009 bought the license rights from fifth-tier SSV Markranstaedt and financed the new team’s steady promotion through the lower leagues.
Leipzig reached the Bundesliga in 2016 and the Champions League a few years later, but it has become highly unpopular at home because of its fast rise financed by Red Bull, prompting rivals fans to often protest at games.
In its second Champions League appearance, the German club eliminated Tottenham in the round of 16 and Atlético Madrid in the quarterfinals. PSG, managed by German coach Thomas Tuchel, got past Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 and by Atalanta in the quarterfinals.