Başakşehir-PSG: Tuchel wants “to show that we can play better than against Manchester”

PSG have been in Turkey since Tuesday, where they will face Başakşehir Istanbul, this Wednesday evening (6:55 p.m.) for the second day of the Champions League. A trip under pressure for the Parisians of Thomas Tuchel, in a tense geopolitical context. A week after the defeat against Manchester United at the Parc des Princes (2-1), Neymar and Mbappé’s teammates must absolutely win.

The tensions with Leonardo, the defeat against Manchester United… Do you feel in danger compared to the result of Wednesday evening?

THOMAS TUCHEL. No. I don’t feel in danger. We play football. I prepare myself. I know how I work. A coach can never be afraid of a result. It is not possible. I stay focused. I know my group. All other things don’t interest me.

You’ve shared all the good things you think about Marquinhos in the midfield. Is this one of the keys for the meeting of tomorrow?

It was a decision for the team, not against someone, against Danilo. It was for the team. I thought a lot. I love what Marqui did in the middle for us. This is my opinion: it is more important that he is in the middle for us because he can help everyone. He will play tomorrow (Editor’s note: this Wednesday) between.

Are you worried that politics will take over the meeting?

I am personally sad that no one can live in harmony. For that, I am a little sad. But I am not worried. I hope there is no implication between sport and politics.

Is this the opportunity to erase the defeat against Manchester United?

Maybe not to erase the season in the league: we won six times in Ligue 1, it’s still a great performance. No one can say anything else. But the season in the Champions League is clear. We are very demanding of ourselves. I hope the loss to Manchester United reminds us that you have to give your all mentally, physically to win. We are playing against the Turkish champion, a team with experience and intensity. But we are here to show that we want to win and that we are able to play better.

Have you spoken with your staff about the atmosphere in Turkey and the geopolitical context?

No. I did not discuss it with my players. I’ll think about whether to do it or not. Maybe yes. We are not just athletes. We live together in this world. As I said, I am sad about the situation, that it is not possible for us to live together in harmony. There are tensions, it is particular. We’ll see if we talk about it. But not too much. The main thing remains the athlete. It is also our privilege to be able to play in the Champions League and give a signal that it is possible to fight in sport.

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