Mauricio Pochettino breaks silence after PSG sacking and admits French side’s ‘OBSESSION’ with winning the Champions League means anything else is failure, with Argentine also blaming VAR for defeat by Real Madrid
- Mauricio Pochettino says PSG’s Champions League desperation has hurt them
- The French giants were knocked out last season by a Real Madrid comeback
- He persists Karim Benzema fouled Gianluigi Donnarumma for Madrid’s first goal
- Pochettino has also insisted that Kylian Mbappe is not to blame for his exit
- The Argentine guided PSG to the Champions League semi-finals in the 2020-21 season
Mauricio Pochettino believes Paris Saint-Germain’s desperation to win the Champions League has stopped the club moving forward at times.
The ex-Spurs boss was sacked by the French giants a month ago and recently gave his first comments since leaving to the Argentine media.
The 50-year-old has a relatively successful 18 months in charge at the Parc de Princes. He grabbed a Ligue 1 title and Coupe de France, but domestic success is not the measuring stick at PSG.
Mauricio Pochettino only lasted 18 months in Paris before being shown the door on July 5
‘Everything is focused on the Champions League and sometimes that distracts a bit and that requirement seems to only exist in the Champions League preview and in other competitions it seems like PSG’s superiority,’ Pochettino said.
‘The obsession is the Champions League and everything that is not winning the Champions League is synonymous with failure.’
Pochettino led PSG to the last 16 of the competition last season where they came unstuck against eventual winners, Real Madrid.
The Parisians won the first leg 1-0 and led 1-0 at half-time in the second leg at the Bernabeu, too.
But a remarkable, late turnaround saw Madrid triumph and begin an incredible run to the final. However, Pochettino points to one foul his PSG did not get that could have changed the course of history.
He believes that Karim Benzema fouled Gianluigi Donnarumma for the first goal as the Italian keeper went down under pressure from the striker – allowing Vinicius to feed the Frenchman for the first of his hat-trick on the night.
‘I think the foul and having reviewed the VAR, today we would be talking about something else, the elimination of Madrid.’
Pochettino believes Karim Benzema fouled Gianluigi Donnarumma and that decision cost PSG
Pochettino is now one of the most attractive names on the market for the top clubs of Europe, but he says he is happy with how his tenure at PSG worked out.
‘I am calm, I accept the circumstances that we had to live through. It all ended quite late, and I have to analyze everything that has happened in the last 18 months at Paris Saint-Germain.
I think it has been very positive. You always have to capitalize on experiences and learn from them. The only thing I can say is that they have always treated me well, they have treated us all well and that I will always be grateful.’
The Argentine boss says star striker Kylian Mbappe had nothing to do with PSG sacking him
The closest PSG have come is reaching the final in 2019-2020, but losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich
The Argentine also says Kylian Mbappe had nothing to do with his departure from the club – that was a call from the president. However, he does think it’s only natural the club would do all they can to retain one of the best players in the world, including money and power.
‘He is one of the best players in world football today and I think that PSG, having all the resources to do it, have convinced him to stay. But I don’t think Kylian is the one who designed the new project either [that saw me leave].
‘Those who rule, in this case the president, are those who would have thought that the most convenient thing was a new project in the club.’