• PSG have lost 6-1 to Barcelona in the Champions League last season
• Emery: “it May be that the preparation for this game started game”
Unai Emery was in charge when PSG lost 6-1 to Barcelona last year and he is back in Spain to play at Real Madrid.
Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Paris Saint-Germain on the preparation of their visit to the santiago Bernabéu stadium, on Wednesday, started at the Camp Nou stadium, Unai Emery claimed. The PSG manager saw his team collapse in Catalonia last season, a 4-0 game lead cancelled when Barcelona scored three times in seven minutes to win 6-1, but he insisted PSG are better prepared to face Real Madrid.
His centre-back marquinhos, meanwhile, has called for “courage and personality” in a match that is likely to be partly played in the mind.
Emery at the end of the pre-match press conference and when he got there, he did not say much, his responses to short, lack normal loquaciousness and rarely transmit the confidence that he said several times that he was feeling.
He said that the PSG has found the “motivation” in front of “champions” and “12 times the winner,” status”, he stressed more than once. Another word, it often comes back is “opportunity”, but it is an obligation, too. The PSG must overcome what happened last season in the last 16 – first psychologically, and then on a piece of land on which they have chosen not to train. “We preferred the privacy; we have done that often this season,” Emery said.
If this is felt as a means of escape and isolation, there was something of the manner in which the PSG, the manager has spoken as he has in large part eluded to answer questions about the mental impact of last season’s defeat.
“I don’t think this is on their mind,” the Real Madrid back Marcelo said, but surely something remains, some scar, and Emery was finished by saying: “it May be that the preparation for this game started in this game.
“It gave us an experience that we want to now make good. We have talked about that. Not a lot, but very clearly. In moments like that, in these circumstances, you can learn a lot of things. We are better prepared and ready to compete at this level.”
marquinhos said: “It was two games, one of the best and the worst of the season. We have a lot to learn, and the lesson must be that we impose on our identity, on the away from the home as well as at home, with courage and personality.”
In the summer, PSG has spent €400m on the two players have tried to penetrate this barrier, including Neymar, which has led to their destruction at the Camp Nou, but a lot of noise in the build-up was Brazilian of his departure for Madrid. Marcelo said: “the Madrid fans like players that are good and he is a world star and the fans would like him.”
His presence for the PSG increases their chances, of course, but it also increases the pressure on him and his team. “I don’t think he’s nervous,” Emery said.
Madrid, too, are subjected to pressure such as Zinedine Zidane, whose side are 17 points behind Barcelona in la Liga, but Europe has so often proved their elixir. “I’m not thinking about my future, I am only thinking about tomorrow’s game,” Zidane said. “I can’t control these other things; what I can control is what we do on the field. Games are important to me; my future is not.
“I don’t know who has the most pressure. We don’t have any in the sense that we are happy to be able to play these games. We live for these matches. As for them, you’ll have to ask the PSG.”