PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino spoke to the media just over 24 hours after making his Champions League debut against Bruges. The Argentine coach assured that PSG is not the team to beat in the Champions League but Chelsea, which was champion last year and “has spent more money than PSG in the market.”
If PSG is the rival to beat for the stars: “The team is not confirmed, we have not decided yet. We will decide after training today. It is clear, from the names that the team has today, there may be that feeling that PSG is the team to beat. The team would have to be Chelsea, which is the champion, has strengthened well and has invested much more money than PSG. We are not yet a team, we are a club that has signed well in the market, there are very important names, but we have to become like Chelsea last season. Chelsea is a team that achieved its objectives, we are the challenge of being a solid team ”.
If there is different pressure for PSG: “There is no time. They will judge you by what you get at the end of the season, not by consolidating an idea or by how it works. At PSG you will be judged by the result you contain. The pressure always exists, in every club, and in this case from PSG, we have been looking for the Champions League for a long time. It is the competition that most excites the club. I have the motivation to win every game, every training session … We have that illusion of wearing this shirt with this badge, we hope to achieve all the goals we have and that PSG reach the top ”.
If it is the most difficult challenge of your career: “For me it is not the most difficult of situations. It is not the most difficult situation. It is a matter of decision and then the decisions have to support you with results in the field. I have trained with other teams where we possibly did not have as many options. Every coach has options, and of course, having 35 players, I'm not going to complain about everything I have. It is the easiest option. We judge sports performance, questions of dynamics, group and others, but the only thing that exists to decide an eleven is sports things ”.
If Messi-Neymar-Mbappé will play tomorrow: “They may play tomorrow, yes.”
Donnarumma-Keylor: “I will decide game by game. It is as fair as every player. Decisions will be match by match. The reality of having Keylor and Donnarumma in the team in this case makes us happy because it increases competitiveness and gives us different alternatives. The seasons are long, the drawbacks are many and having this type of player in the squad is something that benefits the club. Then there is the reality that all players know PSG. It is a reality in which you know that competitiveness is going to be very high and that is very clear. Goalkeepers can only play one and they can play 11. It is a question of mine if one or the other will play in each game ”.
If you are excited to see Messi, Neymar and Mbappé together: “I will have to add to the excitement of all the people to want to see these three players together. I will not be able to go against it. It would be crazy. I fell in love with the collective request ”.
Witches: “It is a tremendously physical team, with very good players, with a good game proposal that can change the system as we have seen in the last matches from 1-3-5-2 to 1-4-3-3. These types of games demand absolute concentration from you. Absolute respect for rivals. Playing in the Champions League are always the best teams in Europe and it is clear that tomorrow the match will demand a significant collective effort from us to win, which is our goal ”.
Marquinhos: “Everyone is aware of the importance of the Champions League”
For his part, the captain of PSG, Marquinhos, assured that he will not change the speech in the locker room with the arrival of Messi and that the importance of tomorrow's game is extreme.
If as captain you have had a speech to win the Champions League: “No, nothing special. We know the importance of this competition, the importance of each match. Everyone is aware of the importance of the match and the competition. We talk more about motivation and ambitions for the competition.”
Everyone designates them as Champions favorites: “No, we know the pressure well every year, especially for a club like PSG. It is true that with the team we have, we talk a little more about favoritism. There is no more pressure either, we are very happy.”
The Mbappé-Neymar-Messi trio and the defensive level: “Of course I'll talk to you about the defensive level. We don't know the whole team yet. You have to ask the coach if the three of them are going to play. The coach is the one who decides how to put the pressure on and in the best way. The pitch, we have to talk and communicate with each other. Things are said on the pitch and in the dressing room if they don't go well. You have to communicate. “
If with the three attack you defend worse: “Things do not change. We know the importance of all the players. The pressure for everyone to see us is not negative. We need a lot of sacrifice for a game like tomorrow's.”
If you expect the same result as last time in Bruges: “We hope so. We need to bring the three points home. We know we have to win tomorrow. It is a difficult game, Brugge is a team that runs a lot and fights a lot. They did us a lot of damage last time, especially in the first half. We have to start well by winning all three points. “
What do you expect from Messi: “I'm not talking about a special speech for a player. We are talking about football, other things, training sessions, strategy … I don't have any special speech for him or for the rest of the group. The speech is collective. We speak as a group. As a captain, I have to set an example in training, my desire to be a captain. If I ever have to talk to someone, I will talk about it without problems. “
If PSG is the rival to beat in Europe: “I leave this for the rest of the people if PSG is the team to beat. I am not here to say that we are the best team in the world. We are here to defend our position on the field, once we are on the field there are no statistics nor roles. We cannot win a game by names, because football is not a sport in which you win before the referee whistles. “