Hired by PSG in the middle of last season, coach Mauricio Pochettino won a gift months later: the club starred in one of the best transfer windows in history and secured five strong reinforcements, including none other than Lionel Messi. And, in an interview with Uefa, the Parisian commander highlighted that even in the face of the quick process between the star’s farewell to Barcelona and his arrival in France, he doubted the contract.
– I didn’t think it was possible to hire him, and as everything was so fast, you can’t process what happens at the same speed. There is a connection between us, we are Argentines, we come from Rosario and we cheer for Newell’s. I’ve long admired him as a rival, and having him with us now is amazing. I hope that together we can achieve what PSG wants – he pointed out.
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Mauricio Pochettino is working with fellow countryman Messi at PSG — Photo: AFP
When trying to describe the ace, Pochettino pointed out that “people with a broader vocabulary” should express Messi’s size and assured that the Argentine is adapting “very quickly”. The star has taken the field in just one PSG match so far, on Aug. 29, when he played 66 minutes away from Reims. The expectation now is for their first match in the Champions League, which should take place on Wednesday, against Brugge, also away from home.
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The PSG commander also commented on the great objective that Paris has with the assembly of its super-team and pointed out that to conquer the Champions League, having great players is not enough.
– It’s an unpredictable competition, so it’s the most attractive to play. It takes luck to win it. All teams that participate are strong and big investments were made to win the Champions. We have the responsibility and the pressure, but at the same time the possibility to make history. Let’s enjoy the experience – completed.
Pochettino was also taken to evaluate the other reinforcements that arrived at PSG in the last window, such as defender Sergio Ramos, whom he praised for his “victory experience and competitiveness”. The coach praised the versatility and understanding of midfielder Wijnaldum’s game, called Donnarumma “one of the best goalkeepers in the world” and revealed that he had tried to sign full-back Hakimi while at Tottenham.
Asked which ideal team PSG should have this season, the coach lost.
– We believe that all players can be compatible. We must create a good group to work with. Respect must be our keyword. In the squad, most players deserve to start, but we can only put 11 on the field. Those who play must support the team and work to show that they can play.
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