Mauricio Pochettino, far from the lawns after a positive Covid-19 test, picked up his phone Tuesday evening for nearly 45 minutes of interview in the program “El Larguero” of the Spanish radio Cadena Ser. The Argentinian swept all subjects in the company of radio journalists: Messi, Mbappé, Neymar, the Champions League. All with great caution, but always with a smile.
His contamination with the coronavirus. “I have experienced some symptoms like headaches or body aches. I have less fever today. It’s been better these last days. I must continue to follow protocol and be careful. Thursday I’ll take a test and see if I can be in the field on Friday (Editor’s note: against Montpellier). I watched the first game (Editor’s note: in Angers) from the hotel room with an application that was two minutes late … So even to phone Miguel (his deputy), it was complicated. He tells me : Goal. I answer him : But tell me it’s us. It was a pain (smile). »
His arrival in Paris. “Leonardo called me on December 24 in the morning. He asked me if I could be interested. We have started negotiations. On the 29th or 30th we came across a verbal agreement. Nasser (Al-Khelaïfi) called me. On January 2, I arrived in Paris. The Champions League? That’s the goal, clearly. They don’t have to say it. This is the big dream of PSG. They didn’t go far last year with this final. This is one of the fundamental reasons why the players are there too. “
The style of the team, mentioned by Leonardo in France Football. “It’s clear that each coach gives a style to the team. For us, tactics and aggression are important. We are looking for this identity little by little. For a personal physiognomy, it takes time, adaptation, as we did at Tottenham. We have placed Verratti in this position (Editor’s note: N.10) also depending on the circumstances of the moment. I hope we will find that form to make the players feel good. We first adapt to them and then them to us ”.
The end of Lionel Messi’s contract. ” I do not know. Every word from me could be misinterpreted. I have great respect for my players and for players from other teams. This respect must exist. The big teams are planning the sequel and PSG are not apart. When I was at Espanyol Barcelona he was close to joining us. We were close to a loan. Imagine, the story would have changed completely ”.
Neymar, Mbappé, the PSG group. “We were welcomed with open arms. I like the humility of the players, the way they hear a new speech, a new point of view. I really thank them for their behavior. Not only Ney or Kylian but also Keylor, Verratti… There is a good connection from the start, all with the sequence of matches and training. It was a great surprise this sympathy and humility of the group. There is a real good atmosphere between them ”.
The future of Mbappé. “Kylian is only 22 years old, nobody finds out, he has great potential. What coach wouldn’t want him for several years? Kylian is very happy here in Paris. Against Angers there was a bit of frustration not to score. He is 22 years old, these are situations that happen. We have a good relationship. We’ll see what happens. I have no doubt that he enjoys being in Paris. Everyone wants the best. Paris has the power and the capacity to convince and demonstrate their importance (Editor’s note: from Mbappé and Neymar). I have no doubt that the club will make the best efforts ”.