After the victory over Juve on Wednesday, the captain of the Parisian side offers his thoughts and observations on the game. A victory that fell short of what was required to take first place…
You win but it’s not enough to get first place in the group. The disappointment must be very big…
Marquinhos: There is some level of dissatisfaction, but it’s not that significant. You have to be able to make the most of what you have available to you at any given time. The first goal indeed was to arrive at this location, secure victory, and strive for first place. We are aware of the benefits that it provides… It is effective to use. However, we were unable to pull it off. Benfica was able to pull off a monumental triumph there, beating Maccabi Haifa by a score of 6-1 (editor’s note:). That was an unexpected turn of events. We shall have to make do with the hand that we have been dealt for the time being.
Were you aware of what was happening in the final minutes of the game and what was happening in Haifa?
We were in charge of controlling the match, and we had no idea what was going on. We were aware that it was crucial for us to win, that the score was 1-1 at the interval (Maccabi vs. Benfica), and that they scored relatively soon. In the last moments of the game, I had no idea that the score was 5-1, then 6-1… So there you have it. After that, it was pointless to make any more attempts to achieve this objective. They were successful and completed the task at hand. We accomplished our job too. We each have our unique advantages. We are going to make the most of the benefits we have and do our best to conceal the drawbacks.
Read also PSG’s observations on Juventus’s pitch: Mbappé is in the lead, but Soler is losing ground.
What feeling prevailed in the locker room after the match?
There are two facets to consider. Coming into this game and winning against Juve was a satisfying accomplishment for us. We must not forget our journey. We struggled in some bouts, but ultimately prevailed and enjoyed ourselves in others. There is a long list of things that could use some work. You must continue to develop. The Champions League is played quite a bit during this phase, although the winner will primarily be determined during the following one. At the end of the season, this trophy will be up for grabs for the squad that has proven to be the strongest, most decisive, and most successful of all the teams. There have been instances of teams winning the Champions League despite finishing in second place. It is up to us to make an effort in that direction.
There is always a little thing…
PSG and Benfica were only separated by the number of goals scored away from home, this is a first in the history of the Champions League. It seems that every time there is this kind of premiere, it’s for PSG…
Yes, but you are going to have to learn to live with it. I’ve spent a lot of time in this place, and there’s always some new detail to learn. However, you need to be familiar with how to play with… We have a lot of fantastic players. It will be challenging, just as it has always been, even back when we were the pioneers. As a result of our first-place finish in our group, we were given challenging draws. Being in second place has a few drawbacks, but not too many of them. To seek, you need to know how to play (victory). There is a good chance that the other teams will be unhappy to play Paris. That is what the Champions League is: an incredible competition that evokes powerful feelings. We are going to have to do things slowly, methodically, and game by game. In addition, we shall work hard to get as far as we can. And up until the very end, if at all possible…
In your opinion, where do you lose this first place?
It happened in both of Benfica’s matches that we played. We needed to take one of them, but we didn’t. In particular, the game played at home. We are aware that the weather is often challenging outside. We needed to get the victory at home. I believe that game was the deciding factor.
You seem to be living again in this four-man defense since the tactical change made by the staff…
I have never lacked faith in myself, either in my abilities or in the path that lies ahead of me. Everyone is aware of the fact that I am most comfortable participating in a four-man defense. Since it had been quite some time since we had played three behind, I, along with the rest of the team, needed to adjust. We were successful in a few of our matches thanks to the three-man defense that we used. In some matchups, our defense will consist of three players while in others, it will consist of four players. It is beneficial and shrewd to keep these cards on hand so that you can employ them at the most advantageous moment.
I still want to stay and the club shows its confidence in me.
Where is your contract extension?
My thoughts have always been on Paris Saint-Germain. I am still under contract for another year and a half. I haven’t changed my mind about staying, and the club is showing that it has faith in me by continuing to work on a project for me. Conversations are going on. I hope that everything will turn out okay. Ahead of the FIFA World Cup? We will see.
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