The game between PSG and Bayern Munich kicked off the Champions League Round of 16 stages on Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t the most action-packed game, with both teams showing signs of caginess, but it still ended up being quite entertaining.
Bayern ended up going back to the Allianz Arena with a sneaky 1-0 win thanks to the winner from Kingsley Coman against his childhood club. Coman loves scoring against PSG, having also done so in the 2019/20 Champions League final to rob his former side of their elusive Champions League title.
A lot of the eyes were on the biggest stars on display in the PSG-Bayern game. Lionel Messi and Neymar had a lot of expectations after starting in the front two, with Kylian Mbappe only making the bench.
Bayern’s teenage wonder Jamal Musiala caused a few major problems, while Joshua Kimmich also put in an admirable effort.
However, one interesting arc that intrigued some fans were the appearances of players like Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Vitinha in a game blessed with some world-class, multi-trophy-winning players.
While the Bayern striker led the line for them from the get-go, the Portuguese midfielder was only able to make the bench. Incidentally, they were both involved in substitutions at the 75th minute.
Choupo-Moting caused PSG major issues by getting two shots on target, forcing a brilliant save from Gianluigi Donnarumma. Vitinha failed to make much of an impact.
Choupo-Moting’s development over the years has been relatively remarkable. After playing for Bundesliga clubs like Mainz, Hamburg and Schalke in his early years, he joined Stoke City in 2017 – getting relegated from the Premier League in his debut campaign itself.
That earned him a bit of a bad reputation, but Choupo-Moting has defied all myths that no major club wants relegated players. He joined PSG in 2018, playing a few years for them before joining Bayern in 2020. The 33-year-old has basically slotted in as Robert Lewandowski’s replacement this season.
Choupo-Moting’s agent has received a lot of praise from fans for securing him such high-profile moves even after getting relegated from the Premier League. Some supporters are now even confused over how Vitinha is playing for a major European side like PSG.
For those unknowing, the Portuguese midfielder joined Premier League side Wolves in 2020 after impressing for FC Porto. He only survived one season for them, mostly being used as a substitute and starting against weak sides.
After failing to impress in England, he was loaned back to Porto last season and excelled for them – convincing transfer guru Luis Campos to sign him in the 2022 summer window.
He actually inherited the no.17 shirt at PSG, the one that Choupo-Moting used to wear during his time. While his initial performances were very good, Vitinha has struggled to maintain consistency and annoyed some fans with error-prone performances in recent months.
That is the reason behind Christophe Galtier benching him for the Bayern game, in which he completed two passes in over 15 minutes.
He doesn’t really seem a great fit at PSG, which has some fans wondering how exactly a player who struggled to start for Wolves has gone on to play with the likes of Messi, Mbappe and Neymar.
Some are even wondering if he shares the same agent that helped Choupo-Moting get his big moves to PSG and Bayer after playing for Stoke. That isn’t the case, however.
Vitinha’s agent is ex-Barcelona midfielder Deco – while the Bayern striker’s agent is ROGON agency’s Roger Wittman. Perhaps Vitinha can take a cue from Choupo-Moting’s books in how to silence doubters in the perfect way.
The 33-year-old striker was once widely mocked for relegation but is now a starter for one of Europe’s biggest clubs. If Vitinha can shut out criticism and work on cutting out errors from his game, he could perhaps consolidate an undroppable spot at PSG soon.