Paris Saint-Germain can’t win. Even after defeating Nantes 3-0 in Ligue 1 on Sunday, the French club was criticized by railway officials for leaving a carbon footprint.

The criticism came from the director of a French railway company. After the away game in Nantes, PSG players flew back home to Paris. The city of Nantes is approximately 239 miles (384km) west of Paris, France. However, the railway official complained that PSG disregarding the use of a train as a means of transportation was disappointing.

Planes, trains and no automobiles

The train journey from Nantes to Paris can be completed on a high-speed train in two hours and forty five minutes. However, PSG management defended its decision to fly its aircraft back to its nation’s capital. Club officials claimed outgoing trains were unavailable after their late victory on Sunday night. The railway company director offered to alter timeframes for future engagements that can accommodate PSG with transportation after matches. Instead, PSG management chose the convenience of flying, which prevents players from being forced to spend an extra night of sleep inside a hotel room.

The significance of sleep patterns for players is an overlooked aspect of soccer. With league games happening along with various regional tournaments and the quadrennial World Cup, professional players are frequently obligated to perform in over seventy matches in the calendar year. These matches unfurl perpetually, and the exhaustion reveals itself often during the players’ performance in the second half of a 90-minute game.

Sleep hygiene is an aspect of home-field advantage. For teams such as PSG, the importance of sleep takes precedence over the long train ride, which forces players to suffer from insomnia due to elevated levels of the body’s stress hormones after games. In addition, the foreign environment players are forced to inhabit with constant traveling results in inadequate sleep. The night before a match is already at a disadvantage for the away team, considering they have to sleep in an unfamiliar environment.

PSG look ahead to busy schedule

Meanwhile, PSG are tied in first place in Ligue 1 with Marseille. However, the Paris club maintains the lead on aggregate. Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé continue to display their poetry in motion. Mbappé’s brace is accredited to Messi for providing two assists in PSG’s 3-0 shutout over the ten-man Nantes. Next, PSG faces Juventus in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage match on Tuesday.

Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire