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Pochettino: “Favorites against Madrid? We are the contenders”

The coach of Paris Saint Germainthe Argentinian Mauricio Pochettinorefused to consider his favorite team in the Champions League round of 16 tie against Real Madrid and remembered that they are “wannabes” because they have never won that competition.

there is no favoriteit is a tie that could be a final of the Champions League, by names, players, quality. PSG has been waiting for more than 50 years to win, We are the contenders and beyond everything that has been raised since the beginning of the season, which allows us to get closer to that dream, we are still contenders”, said the coach at the press conference prior to the first leg.

Pochettino recognized that, beyond the game, the Real Madrid always raises its level in the Champions League, a competition that, he assured, they have won in the past even without playing good football in the league or in the Copa del Rey.

In addition, he indicated that Real Madrid is a more rounded team and pointed out that his midfield, made up of Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos, was already playing in 2017, when he faced them at the head of English Tottenham. “And we almost we have made the team this summer“, Said the coach, who, in the face of criticism, considered that things have improved, especially in the defensive aspect.

“They only marked us two goals this year. Talent is not only in scoring, in creating offensive situations, it is also in defense, which gives balance to the team”, he said.

Pochettino indicated that in the evolution of his team there is “many positive things” but that they are not valued “because of the excessive expectations that do not understand contexts and create confusion”. “Fortunately we have a coaching staff, a club, the players who live that reality and that allows us to improve,” he said.

The coach was convinced that his players will find the necessary motivation in the duel, including Lionel Messiwho is still not showing the level that is expected of him: “In decisive matches, on important nights, their talent and experience play a fundamental role individually, but also collectively, so he can pass it on to his teammates”.

The Argentine coach gave no clues about the eleven that will jump to the Parc des Princes, not even in the goal. He did not reveal if the starting goalkeeper will be the Costa Rican Keylor Navas or the italian Gianluigi Donnarumma. But he indicated that the Senegalese Idrissa Gueye and Abdou Diallo, who have just rejoined the team after winning the Africa Cup with their team, will not be at the start.

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