For six years, photographer Julien Scussel has had unprecedented access to the Parisian team and its players. No photographer has ever got this close to a professional football team made of international stars always followed by the world’s cameras. The result is a behind-the-scenes discovery of a project that has forever changed the dimension of the emblematic Parisian Club and its imprint in the world of sport and beyond. From this comes a one-of-a-kind book that brings together a series of shots that are a step above traditional sports photos.
Nothing is ordinary in this book. International football icon Pelé is alongside French author and screenwriter David Foenkinos—a loyal supporter of the club—to introduce and unveil faces and bodies that evoke all sorts of emotions page after page. From Paris and New York to Tokyo and Doha, all the figures who have contributed to the club’s fame are included: Beckham, Ibrahimović, Cavani, Neymar Jr., Messi and Mbappé.
For David Foenkinos, who narrates the book: “The project promises to be a long-term insight. Of course, players are often photographed. At this level of fame, most of their life becomes public. But here the project is unique because of its artistic purpose. Some shots offer a close-up look, just like a painting. We can see the incredible details from big pictures. We think of Presnel Kimpembe’s face when he beckons to the supporters and shares his rage to win while we see his teammates celebrating the goal that was just scored behind him. And how can we not think of this shot where players enter the field in Singapore? The twilight that cuts through the scene offers an additional intensity to its beauty. We can clearly feel that the photographer is driven by a constant quest for the ideal lighting, like great Renaissance painters. There is inspiration from Géricault and Rembrandt in the use of chiaroscuro. In some photos, players even nod to a form of mythology. Julien Scussel is mindful of bodies and veins like the sculptures of the Olympus Gods.”
Only in Paris do arts and sports appear so complementary. In just a few years, Paris Saint-Germain has become an icon of contemporary culture, a club of the new generation, which shines beyond the football field and in everyone’s imagination.
Limited to 1,000 numbered copies, this book is a must-have for all fans of the club. Illustrated with exclusive imagery that has never been seen before, this beautifully curated volume is handcrafted and highlights the club’s players, matches and key victories. Finished with tip-on images placed by hand, it comes in a bright clamshell case that makes it a volume to cherish for decades to come.