PSG excludes Bernat, Rico and Rafinha from the Champions League squad

Berlin: French football team Paris Saint-Germain’s roster for the Champions League, which includes 25 players, saw the absence of Juan Bernat, Sergio Rico and Rafinha. Saint-Germain strengthened their ranks well in the last summer transfer period, signing Achraf Hakimi, Giorgenio Wijnaldum, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and of course Lionel Messi, before signing defender Nuno Mendes on the last day. And Saint-Germain kept Kylian Mbappe, as reports indicated that the club French refused three offers from Real Madrid. He stated that Real’s last offer to Mbappe, whose contract expires at the end of the season, was around 200 million euros (236,300 million dollars), but Saint-Germain turned it down. Perhaps the main factor was their desire to win the Champions League. Thomas Tuchel led St Germain to reach the Champions League final in the 2020 edition before Mauricio Pochettino saw his team lose the last edition of the semi-finals with a defeat to Manchester City, but with Mbappe, Messi and Neymar in head of the attacking line, St. Germain will be a prime candidate for European glory. The group stage draw placed Saint-Germain in Group A with Manchester City, Leipzig and Club Brugge. Pochettino released the 25 players called up for the Champions League on Friday. The list did not include Bernat, who was a key player when Tuchel was manager but missed most of his matches last season due to a knee injury, while it included Layvin Kurzawa and Mendes as left back, while playing mostly with Abdo Diallo. And goalkeeper Rico did not make it to the list, as was the case with Barcelona midfielder Rafinha, who was about to leave the team on the last day of the transfer market. And the trio of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe was in a forward list that includes many options, such as Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria, while Donnarumma is one of the four goalkeepers. Saint-Germain included eight young players as substitutes, bringing the total number to 33 players. So far, Ramos hasn’t participated since joining the Real Madrid squad, but the veteran defender is set to return to matches this month. Saint-Germain starts his Champions League campaign against Club Brugge on 15 September. (Dpa)

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