Neil Humphreys: Billionaires bought the wrong club
Weak league means PSG will never dominate Europe despite spending close to 1 billion euros
At a time when political bullies are turning into cartoonish Bond villains, it's somewhat reassuring that certain football bullies are failing.
The Billionaires Club occasionally known as Paris Saint-Germain, but more commonly known as the Qatari Embassy in Europe, will not prevail in this season's Champions League.
They will not prevail in the future either, as long as Ligue 1 remains less intimidating than a Dani Alves tackle.
In domestic football, PSG are greedy clownfish in a puddle of anchovies.
The Qataris bought the wrong club to execute their global PR initiative before hosting the 2022 World Cup.
The city of Paris has always experienced a strangely mercurial relationship with its major club and PSG haven't entirely captured the nation's imagination either, despite being 14 points clear in Ligue 1.
In global terms, they remain a smallish blot on the landscape; one almost entirely dominated by the red clubs of England, the boys from Bayern and the two enduring juggernauts from Spain, one of which took PSG to school yesterday.
Real Madrid's 2-1 win against PSG revealed so much about the shortcomings of the Qatari project in Paris.
Once Kylian Mbappe's loan is turned into a grotesque 180 million euro (S$295 million) permanent deal, PSG's squad spending will exceed 1 billion euros since the oligarchs took charge in June 2011.
But the recruitment model adheres too closely to Real's Galactico obsession of the previous decade, when an established superstar was bought every summer to boost merchandising opportunities and shore up political power.
During David Beckham's four years in Madrid, for instance, he picked up a single La Liga medal in his final season. La Decima remained elusive.
A similar story has played out in Paris.
Since Qatar Sports Investments ploughed in more money than sense, PSG have picked up four Ligue 1 titles, three Coupes des France and four Coupes des Ligues. But the conquest of Europe remains a pipe dream.
Zinedine Zidane brushed aside Unai Emery's Champions League challenge by sticking to the collective emphasis that has served Real well in recent seasons.
Gareth Bale, arguably the biggest Galactico signing in recent seasons, was dropped in favour of the less heralded Lucas Vazquez, a winger with metronomic consistency in Paris.
Marco Asensio has progressed from Bernabeu cult hero to accomplished performer on the international stage and Casemiro might be quietly morphing into one of the world's best in central midfield.
Even then, Real still missed a couple of unfit dynamos in Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, but were never seriously tested against a ragtag bunch of second-tier superstars and the odd impetuous wunderkind.
Kylian Mbappe may fulfil his seemingly limitless potential. Against Real, however, he was an overawed 19-year-old making the wrong decisions.
Marco Verratti was outclassed and sent off. Angel di Maria, Thiago Motta and Edinson Cavani all looked their age and poor Dani Alves looked in need of a warm bath. He was run ragged.
Almost every individual in the PSG team is familiar to millions because they are a team of individuals that cost millions to throw together in the vague hope that they'll gel into a unified group.
It hasn't happened.
Middle-Eastern oligarchs also bankroll Manchester City - the obvious template for PSG to follow. But Pep Guardiola's signings follow a clear pattern. He targets a specific skill-set, not a brand name.
His record signing was Aymeric Laporte, a defender who cost £57.1 million because Guardiola needed cover at centre-back.
PSG spent £198 million on Neymar for his brand appeal. He was wanted by the owners, rather than desperately needed by the team.
Mbappe, di Maria, Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were all signed for similarly myopic reasons. They were part of an international PR exercise.
But Paris Saint-Germain's inherent failing remains a domestic one.
Centre-back Marquinhos spoke of the pressing need for greater experience and maturity in the Champions League, qualities that cannot be adequately nurtured in Ligue 1.
Like complacent emperors in the final days of the Roman empire, PSG are omnipotent and unchallenged.
They're sitting on a plump 14-point cushion. Life is easy at home.
They own French football for the foreseeable future, but that's not what the Qataris signed up for. After seven years of excessive investment, a change in strategy is required.
PSG remain a glittering collection of names that stand out on the back of a jersey, but shrink in front of European opposition.