Paris St Germain reached their first ever Champions League final with a convincing 3-0 win over RB Leipzig on Tuesday, finally delivering the reward of the biggest game in European football for their Qatari backers.Goals from Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria put PSG 2-0 up at the interval and Juan Bernat added the third in the 56th minute for what was a comfortable victory at the Estadio da Luz.The French club, celebrating the 50th anniversary of their founding in 1970, will meet the winner of Wednesday’s other semi between Bayern Munich and Olympique Lyonnais after ending what some felt was a mental block in the knockout stages. With French World Cup winning forward Kylian Mbappe back in the starting line-up after fully recovering from his ankle injury, Tuchel was able to field his preferred attacking trident with Brazilian Neymar and Di Maria.Right from the outset, PSG looked a threat to the Leipzig defense with Neymar clipping the post after he was slipped in by Mbappe in the sixth minute.Seven minutes later though, PSG had the lead — Neymar and Di Maria lined up to take a free kick on the left and it was the Argentine who floated in a lovely cross which was nodded home by Marquinhos.Former Real Madrid and Manchester United winger Di Maria was in fine form, constantly probing, while Neymar created from deep and Mbappe pushed on to the last defender looking to use his pace.The Germans were struggling but did threaten in the 25th minute when Konrad Laimer burst down the right and found Yussuf Poulsen but the forward’s shot was just off target.Neymar then went close with an audacious free kick from deep and wide on the right, the former Barcelona man going for Peter Gulacsi’s near post and striking the post as the Hungarian keeper scrambled.It was a poor clearance from the keeper which led to PSG’s second. Leandro Paredes collected the ball and then found Neymar who cleverly flicked it with the back of his heel into the path of Di Maria who made no mistake.Beyond doubtLeipzig’s 33-year-old coach Julian Nagelsmann needed to find some way to shift the momentum of the game and made two changes at the break but after a bright start, PSG put the outcome beyond doubt.Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele slipped while attempting to clear, allowing Di Maria to cross the ball back in to the box and Bernat’s glancing header floated into the far corner.Mbappe forced a good save out of Gulacsi as PSG pushed for a fourth while PSG keeper Sergio Rico had his hands warmed by a fierce drive from fellow Spaniard Angelino.”After the second goal, the belief of our players went down a little bit,” said Nagelsmann.”That’s normal. It’s not that easy right now to think about the good season we’ve had in the Champions League but in one week it will be ok. We know that it was a good season for a young team and we will try to do it again next season,” he said.The French club have played 110 games in the competition – the most played by a side before reaching their first final, overtaking Arsenal’s record of 90 between 1971-2006.PSG’s only other appearances in the final of a European competition came with their UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup victory in 1996 and their runners-up spot in the following season.Olympique Marseille are the only French team to win the European Cup, triumphing over AC Milan in 1993. PSG have gone out in the last 16 for the past three years, but they proved a step too far for Leipzig, who were playing in the regional leagues just 11 years ago.The Germans, financed by the Red Bull energy drink company, have outperformed all expectations by reaching the last four, knocking out Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid en route.”We showed quality and determination. A good mix. We deserved to win,” said Tuchel, who had faced a heavy expectation to deliver in Europe this season.”I felt the pressure, it was not easy. I have players who are used to playing with this pressure, who like this pressure and these decisive matches.” Topics :
The €215bn Dutch asset manager PGGM is to invest $1bn (€880m) in a new reinsurer to be established in cooperation with Bermuda-based RenaissanceRe.The joint venture, named VermeerRe and also based in Bermuda, will reinsure US properties against natural disasters such as flooding, storms, tornadoes and earthquakes.In a joint statement, PGGM and RenaissanceRe said the Dutch firm would be the sole investor, taking an initial stake of €528m. This will be extended with an additional €352m “to pursue growth opportunities” next year.PGGM is the asset manager for the €206bn Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW. According to Eveline Takken-Somers, senior director of credit and insurance-linked investments at PGGM, the investment would increase PFZW’s current 2% allocation to insurance-linked securities to almost in line with its strategic allocation target of 2.5%.She added that the insurance investment contributed to the desired diversification within PFZW’s entire investment portfolio, and would also have an attractive risk-return profile, “as a financial crisis is no natural disaster”. Flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. VermeerRe will provide reinsurance to US properties for natural disasters.In a position paper, PGGM said that the risk exposure of the investment could be assessed in detail because of the “short contracts, sophisticated models and abundant data available”.Aditya Dutt, president of Renaissance Underwriting Managers, said the deal “continues our 20-year track record of creating and managing joint ventures that match well-underwritten portfolios of risk to diverse sources of capital”.PGGM and RenaissanceRe said that VermeerRe had received an A-rating for financial strength from US ratings agency AM Best, and had obtained approval in principle to be licensed and regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority as a Class 3B reinsurer.VermeerRe will be managed by Renaissance Underwriting Managers. RenaissanceRe – founded in 1993 – also has offices in the US, the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and Singapore.PGGM’s insurance track recordPFZW started investing in insurance in 2006. According to PGGM’s Takken-Somers, the holdings generated an annual return of 7% on average since then, even delivering a positive result in 2008.Takken-Somers highlighted that the portfolio’s purpose was also to accrue financial buffers for unpredictable events, and explained that PGGM’s risk exposure was comparable with that of its catastrophe bonds allocation.She said PGGM has focused on building strategic partnerships with top-tier reinsurance companies to improve access to and selection of risk since 2014.“We seek efficient implementation of our investments as we believe this leads to superior returns,” she added.Earlier this year, PGGM invested €352m in LeoRe, in a private transaction with reinsurer MunichRe. LeoRe insures the financial impact of natural disasters in America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.According to Maurice Wilbrink, spokesman for PGGM, the structure of LeoRe was different from VermeerRe as it involved a catastrophe bond issued in a partnership with MunichRe.