Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier answered Marca’s questions in an interview published on Friday morning. The French coach particularly mentioned attacking stars Lionel Messi (35), Kylian Mbappé (23) and Neymar (30). He’s about the future of the top 2, as well as day-to-day management and tactics with these 3 players.
It is a special team, with 3 of the best players in the world: Messi, Mbappé and Neymar
They are 4 of the best players in the world, Sergio Ramos has a resume that speaks for itself. Even if we are necessarily talking about the Fantastic 3.
How important are tactics, emotional intelligence and player management?
Difficult to answer you with percentages. When you arrive at PSG and you are a French manager without a great international track record, you have to gain legitimacy very quickly.
This legitimacy is based on two aspects: first, it’s what you will carry tactically, and you must not go wrong with what you offer because you have players with very high tactical knowledge. The second aspect is that of the human relationship with the group. There are eight or nine top-level players, not just four. I must have a lot of one-on-one exchanges with them.
I’ll give you an example. I relied heavily on television. Currently, there are many player reports on the various platforms. I relied on these reports to get to know them better. For example with Mbappé. I knew Kylian through the French league, playing against him, watching his matches… But there’s the player and there’s the man.
If you know the player and forget the man, it won’t work. The whole world knows Messi, Neymar and Ramos as players. But to gain time I dedicated myself to watching documentaries about them to find out what this man is like, how he lives, his story, how he grew up, his career and how he became an international star.
Is it possible to win the LDC with 3 forwards who don’t defend much?
To start with, it’s a privilege to have these three players because they can make a difference at any time. There is what is happening in Ligue 1 and what is happening in the Champions League. Given that I have these three world-class players at my disposal, it is up to me, and only me, to organize the squad so that I can maintain this offensive power while having the right defensive balance.
And then there will be the story of each game. Depending on the result it will be up to me to make decisions, but we have more chances to score goals and win with these three fantastic players. We will have to take into account the state of form, because in three months we will play against Bayern. There will be scenarios during the match and my responsibility will be to have the most competitive team on the pitch.
How to handle the ego of these 3 stars?
To me, ego is something pejorative. I prefer to talk about personalities. And there is no great champion without a great personality. And about envy and jealousy, there’s no problem. It is not true. I see him every day in training. The players you mention are still together and they all want to be successful. And everyone knows they need everyone else to achieve that success. When I discuss with Leo, Neymar or Kylian I never talk about the others. That would be a mistake for me because they are complementary but different.
We have Leo who is 35 and to me he is the greatest player in the history of football. We have Neymar, who is 30 and has a career in Brazil, Barcelona and Paris, and Kylian, who is the greatest product of French football. Everyone has their own trajectory and needs the others
Are you satisfied with Messi’s performance? Do you expect him to be at the same level after the World Cup?
We can’t know. Why should I think about this? Would that mean they only prepared for the World Cup? I can’t think that. They prepared to be good at the start of the season with PSG. I think Messi will not have a different motivation after the World Cup.
What does Messi’s future depend on?
There are many parameters. The first thing is your desire. Do you want to continue at PSG? Are you happy here? The first thing to know is if he wants to continue.
Did Messi tell you about his future?
All of these decisions are made between the player and Luis Campos.
What are the keys for Mbappé to stay at PSG and not turn to Madrid?
It’s the same situation as Leo. When a player is happy in one place, he has no reason to leave. To be happy, you have to have fun. As soon as the player loves the pitch and feels he is in a team that can win and can face big challenges, he has no reason to leave.
Everyone says Mbappé stayed for the money…
I think it wasn’t the money. Because world-class players, whether they’re in Spain, England or France, are winning. I’m not there for the money. I think Kylian loves PSG.
Do you think Mbappé is happy at PSG?
Yes I’m sure.
Can you bet on your house that Mbappé will be at PSG next season?
I’ll ask you another question: if he’s happy, why shouldn’t Kylian be there next season?
What were the solutions to put Mbappé in a role he prefers when you haven’t recruited the expected 9?
My job is to provide solutions. We have the same strikers as last season. Ney, Leo, Kylian… I wanted to place them differently, always the three together with a different system. 3-5-2 has been the system these past two months. Then tiredness came and I looked for other solutions.