Emotions. “A lot of very strong things happened this summer, starting with the victory in the Copa América. I really had some extraordinary moments with the national team. It was absolutely sensational to win this title. This is something I've dreamed of for a long time. He had been fighting for this for years. He had been very close to the goal on several occasions and finally achieving it, in Brazil, against Brazil, was really incredible ”.
Back to Europe. “I made the most of it. After the match against Bolivia at the Monumental (3-0, with a hat-trick on their part, on September 10, in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers), although the stadium could not be filled because of the Covid, I felt wonderful. emotions. I really wanted to share that with the Argentines, to play at home as the American champion. It was a dream come true, that's why I was so moved. It was a wonderful reunion with the Argentine people. Then, when I returned to Barcelona, everything got complicated … I was ready to start a new season with Barça and, finally, without planning it, I found myself in Paris ”.
Departure from Barça. “I returned to Barcelona to prepare for the season, having taken advantage of the few extra days of vacation that the coach (Ronald Koeman) had granted me. I had the idea to sign my contract and resume training immediately. I thought that everything was fixed and that only my signature was missing from the contract. But, when I arrived in Barcelona, they told me that it was no longer possible, that I could not stay and that I had to find another club, because Barça did not have the means to expand. It changed my plans.
Another country. “Of course, it was extremely difficult to accept. To think that we were going to have to leave the house and that the family was going to have to turn their routine upside down. The children were going to have to change schools and accompany us to a new place. It was the first time this had happened to me in my career. Many things went through my mind, but I had no choice but to leave. It was like that and we had to accept it ”.
Chip change. “As I said at my farewell: it was very painful for me to leave Barcelona after all these years. I had decided, and my family too, that I was going to finish my degree in Barcelona. It was very difficult, but we managed to pass this test together. I started to think about my future and PSG offered me the opportunity to join them. We (he and his entourage) were very motivated, we really wanted to come. PSG have a fantastic team, which can aspire to win many titles, which is my goal for the next few years. In addition, it is a new life experience, a great change and I am trying, little by little, to get used to it ”.
Arrival in Paris. “Barça issued the press release announcing that it was not going to continue and from that moment on I began to wonder how I was going to recover. I had to find a new club to continue my career. I was lucky enough to be contacted by several clubs and one of them was PSG. I am grateful to the club because from the beginning they treated me very well. They showed that they really loved me and took care of me. I thank you for that, because I am very happy to be here today ”.
More options. “I received other proposals, but I must admit that we quickly reached an agreement with PSG. The discussions began and it was not easy because everything had to be fixed in a short time, practically overnight, when it was a very difficult operation to complete under the circumstances. Obviously, I was seduced by the project, the ambitions of the club, the players at their disposal, the group … All these elements made it easier to quickly reach an agreement ”.
Friends in Paris. “That was an important part when I had to make my decision, because I knew that I was going to land in a new country and I had to start from scratch. Knowing that I had friends in the locker room allowed me to tell myself that things would be easier to adapt. And I was not wrong, because it was very easy to integrate, especially since there are many players who speak Spanish, like me, and some friends like “Ney”, “Lea” (Paredes), “Fideo” (Di María), who they helped when I arrived ”.
Pressure from the Argentines. “They asked me regularly when I was going to join them, but always in the tone of a joke, because they knew that my idea was to stay in Barcelona. So it was also a surprise for them when I told them I was coming to Paris. They were both very happy and very excited ”.
Objectives. “It is an exciting challenge and, as I said, I want to win more titles at the end of my career. I hope we achieve great things. This is our common goal. The Champions League is everyone's dream here. The club has been working towards this goal for a few years and has recently approached it (finalist in 2020 and semi-finalist last season). From a personal point of view it is the same, I would love to win the Champions League again, as I said when I was still in Barcelona. Because it is a very good competition, very difficult to win, but I think that this group of players has the weapons to win this title ”.
Trident. “It is something that will rather start naturally, since we will play the games together. We will get to know each other in time. I have known “Ney” for a long time, we have played many games together and we know each other well. The same thing happens with Ángel (Di María), with whom I have been playing for years in the national team. As for Kylian (Mbappé), it has only been a few training sessions and some games that we have been playing together. The more time we spend together, in the locker room and on the court, the better we will get to know each other and perform well ”.
MSN vs MMN. “Age is the difference! We were young when we started playing together with “Ney”. Today, the young man is Kylian. Luis (Suárez) and Kylian are very different players. Luis is a pure 9, a particularly efficient forward in the area and used to scoring many goals. Kylian likes to touch the ball more. He is a very powerful and extremely fast player, who kills you if you give him space and also scores a lot. They are two spectacular players, but with very different qualities ”.
Mbappe. “Honestly, with a player like him it's easy to get along. Also, Kylian speaks perfect Spanish, so we also have good exchanges off the court. Facilitates things. Now, it has been a short time since I arrived, it is still a little early to draw any conclusions. But I'm sure it will work well. “
Mbappé to Madrid. “Honestly, he had just arrived, I still didn't know him well enough to go talk to him about this and give him my opinion. Like everyone else, I waited to see what would happen. But, in the end, he stayed with us and for me he is a great joy. It is one more element in our favor to achieve our objectives ”.
Golden Ball. “I don't feel like a favorite and I never liked talking about it until the result. If that happened, it would be great to win another one. This summer I won the title that I was missing. Later, if I win a new Ballon d'Or, I will be very happy and very grateful, but I don't want to think about that. “
If you had to vote, who would you get on the podium? “I'm always afraid of forgetting someone when they ask me these kinds of questions … Obviously, on my team, there are at least two that I would surely vote for:” Ney “and Kylian. And then (Robert) Lewandowski, who just had a great year. There is also (Karim) Benzema, who was excellent. We know that the titles are also important: the Champions League, the Euro and the America's Cup will undoubtedly weigh in the vote ”.