FROM the ignominy of last season’s humiliation has come a renewed determination. Becoming the first side ever to be knocked out of the Champions League after compiling a 4-0 victory in the first leg – Barcelona winning 6-1 in a remarkable return game in the last 16 – is not the sort of record Paris Saint-Germain’s Qatari owners had in mind when they began their serious and sustained investment some six years ago. A first European Cup for the most successful French club in history is what they crave more than most.

Previously considered among the second tier of clubs below the true European heavyweights of the modern era they have upped the ante considerably this time around.

The political and financial ramifications relating to their decision to commit to spending almost £400m this summer will run and run – UEFA takes a dim view of clubs effectively thumbing their nose at their Financial Fair Play regulations, and have begun an investigation into PSG’s affairs – but from a footballing perspective it has presented manager Unai Emery with a forward line to have most fans drooling, the sort usually only put together, somewhat wishfully, in video games.

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Joining Edinson Cavani and Julian Draxler are two of the most exciting names in world football. Neymar was always going to play second fiddle behind Lionel Messi at Barcelona but in Paris now he will get the chance to dominate the spotlight himself.

It may have taken the best part of £200m to get him there but it is an outlay that will likely be paid back in two ways; by the amount of PSG strips shifted with his name adorning the back, and by the Brazilian providing the goals and assists that help carry the club deep into the latter stages of the Champions League.

If that were not enough, he has been joined in the French capital by a man already hailed as the most exciting teenage prospect to emerge for many a year. Kylian Mbappe was one of the stars of last year’s campaign as he helped Monaco reach the semi-finals. Now he has moved to PSG on an initial season-long loan, this 18 year-old with the world seemingly at his feet.

This new forward line will be showcased to the world this evening from Celtic Park in Glasgow. It promises to be a night of mixed emotions for those home supporters in attendance, keen to see their side hopefully pull off an upset but also intrigued to gawp at this forward line and just what they might be capable of.

Many see PSG as possible champions, with the bookmakers having installed them as third favourites to lift the cup with the big ears for the first time in their history. Captain Thiago Silva sounded a note of cautious optimism about his side’s chances upon their arrival in Glasgow last night, believing they ought to at least “get close” to winning the competition this year. What can be said with some certainly is that March’s capitulation in the Nou Camp has already been consigned to the darkest recesses of the memory banks.

“What happened last year is already forgotten,” said the Brazilian. “We’ve prepared hard for the Champions League and we are very motivated. I don’t know if we are favourites but we should get close this year.

“There are a lot of players with a lot of quality across the Champions League. But we have a lot of talent in our team. With the players we’ve got, we are aiming to go far. The atmosphere in the team is magnificent. If we stick together, we can handle the pressure of trying to go far in the Champions League.”

The signing of his compatriots Neymar and Dani Alves, as well as the Mbappe, has been welcomed with great enthusiasm by Silva.

“The recruitment has been very, very good,” added the 32 year-old. “We have confidence in them as team-mates.

“Neymar has so much experience in the Champions League. He can maybe make the difference. The three players we have signed are incredible. Both Neymar and Mbappe are very, very intelligent footballers, as is Dani Alves. So it’s very easy for them.

“I spoke with Neymar a lot before he signed, about the positives and negatives of the club. He has settled very quickly. As I expected him to.”

There was – as is usually the case in these instances – a diplomatic word or two about the hosts, with Silva speaking glowingly about Celtic’s qualities.

“We expect a very good game,” added the captain. “We have great respect for Celtic, who will be very difficult Champions League opponents.

“We know how hard they are to beat at home. We expect a match with a lot of intensity. And they will be very motivated to start their campaign at home.”