The players of Paris Saint-Germain “are not in a bubble”, assures their coach Christophe Galtier, and “they are informed” on social issues, he explained during an intervention at the festival “Demain sport”, Thursday in Paris.
“Don’t think that the players are off the ground and in a bubble,” replied the technician to a question about the place he gave to general culture and good citizenship in his way of managing his footballers.
“They are informed, they are aware of what is happening in the world,” insisted Galtier, two weeks after the controversy surrounding the team’s air travel.
PSG, its coach and superstar Kylian Mbappé found themselves under fire from critics after the offhand reactions of the technician and his player, at a press conference, to a question about the club’s trip by plane to Nantes, a destination short for which less polluting alternatives, such as the train, exist.
“It’s not the image at all (sometimes conveyed), what you don’t know is that they are very generous, they defend noble causes”, assured Galtier.
“They are very cultured, especially since in the locker room they meet different nationalities, they are interested in what is happening in Spain, South America, Africa, the Maghreb, in Eastern countries. ..” he continued.
“More mature than other young people”
“Trust me, they’re not above ground,” Galtier also explained. The PSG stars and their teammates “are much more mature than other young people, they are faced with reality, already with that of the competition”.
“The players at PSG have to beat three teams every week, and be better than their partners, they have faced competition since they were 13, 14 years old,” he insisted.
“We have the image of the irresponsible footballer, it’s false. Very young they are often already married, already dads, they have family responsibilities, also brothers or little boys and enormous pressure on a daily basis”.
At the start of his speech at the famous studio 104 of the Maison de la Radio, Galtier was briefly interrupted by two activists in the fight against global warming shouting: “Climate in danger, Galtier accomplice”.
This was an allusion to his phrase on “sailing tanks” and the controversy that followed. The coach then made his mea culpa saying he regretted “a joke that is in bad taste”.
“Don’t confuse perhaps misplaced humor with respect for the planet,” Galtier replied again. “I am very careful, I have just made a round trip by train to see my son who was having surgery”.
A little later during his speech, moderated by Radio France journalist Nathalie Iannetta, who asked him, about mental preparation, if there was “a pilot on the plane”, Galtier took it up, smiling: “In the train”.