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Verratti before City-PSG: “We are not aliens, we will necessarily suffer”

Marco Verratti takes stock at a press conference on the eve of the Champions League semi-final between City and PSG in Manchester.

What type of match : “Both teams want to reach the final. It’s a very good game. We are happy to play this type of match. We have already made a lot of good matches in recent years. We have to stay calm, play the game that allowed us to get to where we are today. It will be a tough game because Manchester City also want to play the final. We will have to manage the emotions because there will be times when we will suffer, times when we will be better. You will have to do the maximum every minute, on every detail. We saw it in the first leg, it can be decided on small things … I hope it will be in our favor this time. “

READ ALSO – Guardiola before Manchester City-PSG: “I hope Mbappé will play, for football”

Approaching the match late at kick-off : “Mentally, it’s a little different (PSG won in the first leg in the two previous rounds, against Barça and Bayern, note). We know that you have to win by two goals apart (in fact, a goal gap could be enough depending on the score, editor’s note). It does change a bit… But our team starts every match with the ambition to win. And we want to win here (in Manchester). We know it’s difficult to win here. But we will give everything to seek this qualification. We have nothing to lose. You also have to be happy on the pitch, think about playing football. It’s the kind of game that everyone wants to play, that everyone is going to watch. We are the main players. You have to be happy, play good football, play with personality and character. We need all these ingredients to go to the final. Outside, we play with a lot of personality. We have won difficult matches this year on the road. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is another. It’s normal: to go to the Champions League final, you have to go through this kind of match. We will try to play a big game. “

Atmosphere : “There is a very good atmosphere. We still have the possibility of winning all the trophies (Ligue 1, Coupe de France and Champions League, editor’s note), which means that we have had a good trip. After the first leg, it’s normal that there is a little disappointment … I think we did not deserve to lose. Afterwards, we won against Lens (2-1 last Saturday), a very physical team, which plays well in football and which has shown this year that it deserves its place in the league. We started to prepare for the City match yesterday (Sunday). We’re happy that it’s happening, we can’t wait, can’t wait to show that we can do it, all together. We must be the first to believe in ourselves. Especially since I know that there are not many people who believe in it (smile). We’re a big group. You have to stay calm and do things as you always do: train well and get on the field being ready for each duel, each ball. “

“You have to be 11 warriors on the ground”

Kevin De Bruyne : “He’s a fantastic player, very strong… When you want to win the C1, you have to face the best, and De Bruyne is one of them. City, however, is not just De Bruyne. There are other great players … You have to be 11 warriors on the field. With the team, the collective, we will try to make the match difficult for De Bruyne. ”

The key to the match : “The key is a set of things. The main thing is to play ball, to create chances and to profit. Football is fun. Especially this type of match … Of course, there is also the mind, the duels, the personality in such important matches. It takes a lot of personality to play. It’s a set of things you need to win the Champions League. It is also played on small details. We play against the best. You can’t predict everything in a game. When we face the best players, it only takes a little stroke of genius, as can happen to Kylian or Neymar at home, to change the face of a match. You have to pay attention to everything and play with the ball, that’s how you will create chances. ”

READ ALSO – Manchester City-PSG: Mauricio Pochettino must find the levers

Gundogan and Rodri : “They are important players. They have been together with Pep Guardiola for 4-5 years and it is therefore normal that they have a very strong collective. We had a very good game in the first leg, it was a little less good in the second half but it’s a very good team, which deserves to be there. It will therefore be necessary to manage the match well, to be present, not to relax even for a second. Rodri and Gundogan are important, experienced players, they run the team in the middle. It will take control of the environment. “

“We are here, ready to suffer, ready for the fight, ready to do anything to reach the final”

How to react when PSG suffer : “What to do ? Nothing, pray (laughs). It’s normal. We are not aliens, we are bound to suffer. We are in the Champions League, we play against the best teams in the world and they also want to win, like us. When we have to suffer, we have to do it together. The attackers should be the first defenders. And up to Keylor (Navas), who saved us so often … It’s sport, it’s football. There are times to suffer, times when you have the ball and which you have to take advantage of to score. We will suffer, that’s for sure. But we will have to suffer all together. Against Bayern, we suffered until the last minute, it’s normal that it’s like that. Against Barça, despite the 4-1 victory in the first leg, we suffered in the return. But we are there, ready to suffer, ready for the fight, ready to do anything to reach the final. “

READ ALSO – Neymar Jr before City-PSG: “We must believe in it and every Parisian must believe in us”

Stay calm in the face of City possession : “It’s Guardiola’s style of play, he’s always been like that, he wants to have control of the game, of the rhythm … But we have to focus on us. We meet a great team but we are one too. we have shown that we deserve to be there, we deserve to fight until the last minute to go to the final because we have made great matches. We have a great team, a great coach, who allowed us to achieve this. We have already met great teams. City is another. We must remain lucid and calm because we will have opportunities. It’s not like we lost the first leg 4-0 and we have to work a miracle. They took a little advantage in the first leg. But we are there, we are close, we will have to give everything, do everything to bring the score back on our side. It goes through the small details. City will want to play their game, have the ball. It’s up to us to play with our style tomorrow. ”

Comments collected in video-press conference

Pochettino: “It will be a fight, it will be hard, it will be necessary to be ready”

Mauricio Pochettino (PSG coach) : “We do not yet know whether Kylian Mbappé will be available or not, we will decide tomorrow. We want to keep the ball but with more balance (than City) between possession and the transition given the characteristics of the players. You will have to suffer at times, but you will have to be surgical and aggressive, to manage the emotions. The outcome of the first leg will have an impact on how we play. They have an advantage after their 2-1 victory. It will take risks, be courageous, aggressive, prepare for the match knowing that City is a team that can evolve in different ways. We will have to be smart and show our qualities on the pitch. It will be a fight, it will be hard, it will be necessary to be ready. If we needed to motivate the players for a Champions League semi-final, Houston we have a problem (smile). The motivation is there. They love to play this game. There is no more pressure on one side or the other. Pep said to be calm. Me too. It’s already hard to get to the semi-finals. PSG have not arrived in semi very often in 50 years of history. So you have to be quiet, prepare well for the match, have fun and try to be better than your opponents. I am as relaxed as I was two years ago, knowing full well that we are playing against a very good team and that we are also a very good team. It will be a battle. ” (in press conference)


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