They arrived all relaxed, exchanging low masses and knowing smiles easily guessed under their masks. On the eve of a galactic PSG – Real Madrid, the two men seemed to have the same desire, to succeed in a match that could change the fate of the Parisian club. However, they made every effort to remember that a season cannot be judged on a single match.
After being asked if PSG’s season actually started on Tuesday, Marquinhos looked annoyed. “Pardon ?he dropped, asking journalists to rephrase his question. Everything we did before, we throw it in the trash? No, we must not laugh, we have been fighting since the start of the season, we are in training every day. We made a lot of matches, a lot of trips. We had good matches, bad matches, matches won at the last moment, others that we lost…“.
From Ancelotti to Pochettino, PSG’s offbeat strategy with its coaches
9 HOURS AGO
PSG-Real, Chelsea-Lille, Inter Milan-Liverpool: our predictions for the round of 16
We won’t play the victim either
At the time of looking into a duel that could determine the future of the Parisian club, but also his own within it, Mauricio Pochettino also felt that the pressure revolving around the Parisian club was not very different to those of Tuesday’s rivals, Madrid whose European journey will also be closely followed.
“There’s no more pressure on one side or the othersaid the Argentine coach. I respect Real Madrid, one of the biggest clubs in the world, which has won everything. When you win, it’s always a combination of circumstances that make the club show its power. There is no favorite, in my opinion. It’s an eighth that could be a final given the players and the quality. In Paris, we aspire to win. It would be a dream. We don’t have the experience or the history of Real but we’re not going to play the victims either“.
The improbable X factor: Why Danilo Pereira changes a lot of things in the Parisian game
The example of Real in 2018
It is precisely this culture of winning, this “harmony” between the players, that Pochettino wanted to highlight, like a mirror to his work at PSG. Relaunched on his victory with Tottenham in 2017-2018 against these same Merengues, who had finally won the edition, he highlighted the mental value of this workforce. “If you go back to this year when we beat Real, in the Copa del Rey, Madrid had not been terrible, in La Liga not terrible either, but in the Champions League, Real had wonhe recalled. This mental strength had been decisive. They had this sacred union, this spirit of competition, they were decisive thanks to that. They had this faith in them“.
So, of course, it’s this “confidence” in the capacity of his players who allowed the Argentine coach to work at best this gala duel. Moreover, it was Marquinhos who was the most mischievous at the time of concluding his intervention. Asked about the keys to the match, the Brazilian paid tribute to his coach’s preparation.”It’s the coach who has these keys too, he showed us, he spoke to ushe revealed. So the keys, we leave them in our pocket by tomorrow“.
You have voted: here is your ultimate eleven for PSG-Real
We will finally know
9 HOURS AGO
Paris is his team
9 HOURS AGO