Paris Saint-Germain will host Angers SCO this Wednesday 11 January (21:00) at the Parc des Princes. A meeting that should notably mark the return of Lionel Messi to the lawns of Ligue 1. Coach Christophe Galtier was at the press conference on the eve of the match.
Where is Lionel Messi’s extension? How essential is it to the club?
Christophe Galtier : “I know that there are discussions and that the sports management has discussed with Leo on the subject of the extension. But I don’t know where it is. Leo seems happy in Paris to me, but we need to see his position in relation to the club’s project. I think there is a real will from PSG to extend it. »
How is Renato Sanches, back in training for a few days? How do you judge Pablo Sarabia’s performance?
Christophe Galtier : “Renato has returned to the sessions with us and will be available for the match against Rennes. He will need a week of preparation to integrate the group. As for Pablo, he’s a player who hasn’t played much for various reasons, including my choices, and it’s always difficult to find points of reference when you haven’t played much. He was very interesting at the start of the French Cup match and in the second half we corrected his positioning to have a better balance. We expect more from him, and he himself doesn’t want to be satisfied with his performance, but I find the criticisms exaggerated compared to what he was able to do on the pitch. He needs to play and in the weeks he will be able to do it. The more he plays, the more confident he will be. »
As you judge Nordi Mukiele currently?
Christophe Galtier : “He’s a player we wanted to have very quickly. He has the ability to be very versatile, because he can play 4-man defense, 3-man defense in the center, but also be a winger or piston. It’s a big plus for him. He is a player who integrated quickly and he has worked hard in recent weeks. He is mentally free and very comfortable physically. It’s a satisfaction for the games we’ve been able to play since our recovery, and it’s good news for the team. We know that Hakimi played a lot during the World Cup and is currently recovering. It’s important that Nordi can blossom when he plays in this position, but I know I can count on him in other registers. I’m also satisfied with what he brings to the group on a daily basis, in the dressing room. »
Hugo Lloris has announced his retirement from the national team, do you think Kylian Mbappé would be a good France captain?
Christophe Galtier : “I’m not Didier Deschamps, but I think he won’t be wrong about the choice of captain. We often talk about captain when there is a certain age, with a certain number of games played. Kylian is “only” 24, or “already” 24 with loads of games on the clock and incredible performances. I didn’t argue with him on the matter. Being the captain of France also comes with a lot of responsibilities. But even without the armband, Kylian is a team and dressing room leader. »
You have a trip to Qatar and Saudi Arabia next week, is this a welcome trip in a calendar that will get busier in February?
Christophe Galtier “This commitment was made last season. From the moment there is a commitment made, the club must respect it. »
How did you react to Noël Le Graët’s remarks about Zinédine Zidane? Do you think there is a need for a change at the top of the FFF?
Christophe Galtier “Zinedine Zidane deserves respect and I’m sure he has everyone’s respect. He was an amazing player for France and he’s a great manager with 3 Champions Leagues. Of course, the words that were said created strong reactions. I’m not used to shoot the ambulance, so I won’t comment further. »
Kylian Mbappé reacted immediately after Le Graët’s comments, what do you think of his tweet?
Christophe Galtier : “Kylian is a big boy, he expressed himself with his manners and his heart. His words belong to him, but I’m not surprised that he can defend Zidane, I know he has great respect for him. »
At the beginning of the season you said there was a desire to reduce the squad and give more playing time to young players. Can you tell us more about your youth strategy?
Christophe Galtier “Like many, I have noticed that PSG train very good players, which means that there is quality in their training. We have very good young people and some have not been able to express themselves, because the workforce was very large and has left. We realize that then we find them at the highest levels, in the Champions League and in the national team. It was a wish with the president and Luis Campos to reduce the workforce to create space for young talent. The youngsters have been interesting in the Coupe de France, but in order for them to develop they need to be followed by experienced players. The fact that they train with us every day and have the hope of participating in matches allows them to grow faster. In the winter transfer window, there will be no arrival if there is no departure. »
Marco Verratti will be forfeited tomorrow, Warren Zaire-Emery the possibility of starting a Ligue 1 game?
Christophe Galtier : “Warren is capable of starting a Ligue 1 match and even a Champions League match. And what comforts me from Warren’s analysis is that our great players have the same perspectives as us.”