A feeling of unbridled joy tinged with relief dominated the Paris Saint-Germain FC dressing room after they captured the Ligue 1 title, but even as Carlo Ancelotti cut short his interview to celebrate, the warning was clear: this is just the start.
"I am very happy because this is the result of hard work," said the Italian coach. "It is deserved. Now we're going to party, so not many words. What I can say is that the work was well done. We won, but now we will continue. Whenever I win, it's a beautiful thing, and we won the championship away to tough opponents, against a good team."
Indeed, it is notable that PSG's first championship in 19 years, their third overall, came with Sunday's 1-0 victory at the home of Olympique Lyonnais, for so long the dominant force in France. The point was not lost on defender Mamadou Sakho, who added: "It's incredible. On top of that, we won it in Lyon. I remember when I was young they celebrated this on our pitch [in 2005]. Today it's the opposite. This is something special. We're champions again."
The challenge now is to prove this is not a one-off; to become a force similar to what Lyon were as they collected seven successive titles between 2001 and 2008. "This is something beautiful, we suffered a lot for it," said goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu. "This is the squad's first title and the club's first in 19 years. I think it will go down in history, but this is only the beginning of our domination. "
Ominous words, but as Ancelotti headed into the night it was obvious that while they strive for more, PSG also intend to savour what they have got. "We had a target this season, to be champions – job done," said midfielder Blaise Matuidi. "This has been a very good season for us. We're really happy. Tonight is about joy. This is a great team built for a great project. We will celebrate it now. We are all relieved."
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