Mauricio Pochettino, PSG coach, was interviewed by Manu Carreño in El Larguero de la Cadena SER. The Argentine coach arrived at the Paris club on January 2 replacing Tuchel and has already raised a title, the French Super Cup. Pochettino, who is in quarantine having tested positive for coronavirus, analyzed his first days at PSG; He spoke of the situation of Mbappé, longed for by Real Madrid; of possible interest in Messi …
How are you after testing positive for coronavirus? “With some symptoms of coronavirus. Days ago with a headache and a lot of body pain. The latter practically without fever. Getting better. I’m getting lucky, but don’t let your guard down either. I have to keep taking care of myself and following the protocols. On Thursday I will have a test and analysis and see if I can be at the game on Friday. The other day I saw him in a hotel with minutes late. It is a barbarous suffering. The issue of COVID is scary, everything is out of control. Appeal to sacrifice, care, distance, wear a mask, expose yourself as little as possible because this virus is unpredictable. People suffer. So far I am being lucky but there are many people suffering ”.
Where did you get it? “No idea. I spent a year or so in London taking precautions. After two and a half weeks working I got it. The luck is that my coaching staff did not take it. It is impossible to realize how and where you got it ”.
Has the club been very changed? “Yes, at the media level there is a much bigger exposure. Although passion, the training center is the same where he was training. The arrival of so many figures in the last eight or nine years has given PSG a different dimension and they see it as one of the best clubs in the world ”.
Is it Leonardo who calls you? “Yes, after the December 23 game. He calls me on the 24th in the morning. He tells me if I may be interested, I said yes and we started the negotiations until we reached an agreement ”.
Have they told you that you have to win the Champions League? “It is clear that it is the objective, they have been fighting for many years. They don’t need to tell you, it’s unspoken. It is the great illusion of PSG. Last year they were close, they played the final ”.
“The Champions is the objective”
What style do you want to give PSG? “One is going to transmit the style that one feels and that cannot be acted in any other way. The football that we like is a football where aesthetics are important but also aggressiveness. Little by little we are going to mold and find that identity that we all have to create together: the club, the players … We are going to find and discover and create a platform to play in a way that the team creates and each one be part of that physiognomy. It means discovering and adapting ”.
Your contract: “Nowadays the conviction does not go through the years of contract but in the way in which you empathize with the group. And not only the footballers but with the rest of the people. Having strength with years of contract is over ”.
Argentine technicians are in fashion: “Especially because of that competitive mentality. That passion that we transmit to the working groups makes them also have that appeal. I am Argentine but my training was in Las Rozas, in Spain, I developed most of my career in Spain. That mix has made me better and I think that all that culture that I was acquiring has made me that way. For something Spain is at the forefront in terms of players and coaches ”.
Neymar said that he would match Messi again next year: “I dont know. I listened to him and I haven’t had time to talk about anything about the market with Leo or with the president. We are focused on competing, winning games. Many times any phrase of mine can be misinterpreted. I have great respect for my players and take care to speak about those of others. I would understand that coaches are as jealous of their players as I am. Surely the sports management works for the future ”.
Messi, on the list, according to PSG: “I do not comment. At Espanyol or Southampton I dreamed of having the best. Messi was about to play for Espanyol … He was almost on loan, but he played a great game at Gamper … I’ve seen him sometime in London and Italy. We share the love of Newell’s, because we got out of there, and that unites us ”.
“Messi? We share the love of Newell’s, that unites us.”
Messi voted him in The Best: “I did not know, I did not know it. It is appreciated that one of the best in the world votes for you ”.
Neymar and Mbappé: “They have welcomed me with open arms. They are open to a new discourse. You can only be thankful for how they have behaved. They, Keylor, Marquinhos, Di María, Verratti… We arrived on the 3rd and on the 6th we were already competing. It was a great surprise to see his humility ”.
Mbappé renewal: “The club is working to renew the important players and he has enormous potential, at 22 years old. What coach wouldn’t want to have Mbappé? ”.
Leonardo said that only the one who wants will follow: “The information is crossed in an incredible way and is taken out of context. He is happy here. The other day is the frustration of not scoring a goal. The club has to help him and the others to enjoy themselves. We will see what happens. He loves being here. “
With Messi it would take two balls: “Now you have to be calm. The important thing is how the team works, because we want to win the League, the Cup and go to the Champions League, where Barça will be very strong in a few weeks ”.
Messi ends contract: “I am aware of everything. I saw West Ham, Valladolid, Leicester. Today you have to be attentive to everything, what is for and what is against. I don’t want to talk about Messi because what he says has a huge dimension. From the outside we only see a small part of what happens inside ”.
Contacts with Barça: “I’ve known Bartomeu since we took our children to the same school. So I was a Espanyol player and he was not on the board. We met in a bar and I am a friend of Ramón Planes, but there was never anything ”.
He said he would go to a farm before training Barcelona: “He must have had a fever. I still went overboard, but I don’t back down. I am a parakeet and no one would understand that I identified with Barcelona. I wanted to cut my losses and went overboard ”.
Pochettino, on going to a ganja before joining Barça: “I exceeded …”
Better mental level at PSG than at Barça: “I hadn’t had to direct without an audience and it’s a different football. Great players need adrenaline to do their best and that’s why we see so many ups and downs. This last Champions is difficult to evaluate. A single game was played, in a field without people … It is difficult to analyze. Now the situation is new. That is why illogical results have been produced ”.
Ramos, to PSG: “I insist. Our responsibility is enormous when talking about players from other clubs. You have to show respect and not create situations that can be misinterpreted. There must be ethics in the professionals and we must be very strict ”.
Neymar’s sister’s birthday, March 11: “When the time comes, we will see. When I started as a coach, in 2009, I was talking to the teacher Azkargorta about management. I said I was going to be inflexible and he laughed. Today, twelve years later, I am more and more flexible and I negotiate everything. The new generations like to know why, to have an opinion. Authority is not won by imposing ”.
Sarabia, Beñat, Herrera …: “They are fine. It’s easier for them because I speak English, a little bit of French and Spanish. The other day, in a tactical exercise, I speak in English and Di Maria tells me that he doesn’t understand it… ”.
Players play where they want: “I agree with what Zidane has said, but now, in a pandemic, everything is more difficult. Today many circumstances have to occur ”.
Sounded for Madrid this winter: “As Griffa used to tell me, since I was 14 years old: ‘Be prepared, because football will take you where he wants’. Now you have to enjoy ”.