Real Madrid vs PSG: The kings of Europe against a state

Real Madrid vs PSG: The kings of Europe against a state

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Real Madrid welcome Paris Saint-Germain to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday evening, and the significance of this clash extends far beyond what happens on the pitch. Los Blancos, the kings of Europe, are playing to uphold that status against a club dreaming to challenge football's status quo.

The European Cup became synonymous with Real Madrid as they clinched the trophy for the first time at the Parc des Princes in 1956. Now, the Parisian club represent the assault on the elite clubs who have dominated European football for decades.

With the state of Qatar supporting their efforts, PSG have spent a number of years trying to lift the trophy that Real Madrid have won 13 times, but as yet they have not been able to.

Real Madrid and PSG's clashes

The once-excellent relationship between Real Madrid and PSG has deteriorated rapidly, to the point that it hardly exists now.

Real Madrid's efforts to sign Kylian Mbappe before the end of his contract was the final straw in the breakdown of ties between the clubs.

The conflict over the Super League also placed the two clubs in direct confrontation to one another, and Florentino Perez has criticised the management model at PSG.

"There are a large number of clubs connected to states and they do not sell players," he said.

"The moment will arrive when the 30 best clubs in Europe will be the property of countries. This is not the principle of the European community."

A finely poised Champions League tie

This is the context of Wednesday evening's fixture, which is on a knife-edge after the Parisian side took a slender 1-0 lead from the first leg.

Whilst PSG have close to a fully fit squad to choose from, Carlo Ancelotti will be without two of his key players in the suspended Casemiro and Ferland Mendy.

Meanwhile, the one major question around Ancelotti's line-up will be whether Toni Kroos is fit enough to start, which the Italian coach spoke about in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

"If [Kroos] is 95 percent fit, he will not play," said Ancelotti.

The German midfielder faces a late fitness test and, if he does not start, Eduardo Camavinga would be his natural replacement.

It is one of the key factors on a night where Real Madrid, the kings of Europe, look to suppress PSG, a rebel state in European football.

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