David Beckham joined his former Paris Saint-Germain team-mates to celebrate their Champions League victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The former England captain, who played for PSG for six months in the first half of 2013, was with his children when he went into the dressing-room and congratulated each of the PSG players. He was given a team jersey and joined in the celebrations before he left.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi had given the players a rousing speech on the team bus on the way to the stadium, with one player saying Al-Khelaifi was more fired up than the players before the game. Once Ibrahimovic was sent off, PSG were inspired by a sense of injustice.
“When the moment is difficult, we can react,” said Marco Verratti, who was outstanding in midfield. “No need to chat, just play, it’s what we did. We thought Chelsea were a big team, but so are we. Zlatan’s red card gave us more will to win the game. We played quietly and were smart.”
There was a palpable sense in France Jose Mourinho’s team had contributed to the Ibrahimovic dismissal, with nine players surrounding referee Bjorn Kuipers before he brandished his red card. “Everybody could see what Mourinho’s strategy was,” said French pundit Pierre Menès while Al-Khelaifi said, “You can talk about the referee, but my view is the red card was a harsh one.”
Joël Quiniou, France’s most famous referee, known for sending off Jose Batista after one minute of Uruguay’s World Cup match against Scotland, also claimed Kuipers had made a mistake. “Zlatan isn’t trying to hurt his opponent,” he said. “Ibra kept his back foot far from Oscar. It looked spectacular because there’s a size and height difference. But a yellow would have been enough. The worst thing was to see the Chelsea players rushing at the ref, that can create influence.”
The outrage at Kuipers’s performance extended to Paris full-back Serge Aurier, who missed the game injured, but posted a nine-second video on Facebook. In it, the jubilant Aurier screamed “Yes, Paname [nickname for Paris]!” At the end, he shouted, “Arbitre sale fils de pute!” which can best be translated as, “Referee, you dirty son of a bitch!” He may face an internal punishment. Within minutes of the final whistle, Al-Khelaifi received calls from the Emir of Qatar and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
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