Present at a press conference on Monday, the Italian midfielder is confident in the abilities of PSG to reverse the trend against City.
Paris Saint-Germain will have a lot to do on Tuesday night to reverse the trend against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium and qualify for the Champions League final. The capital club must score at least twice to qualify and play its second C1 final in two years. Present at a pre-match press conference on Monday, Marco Verratti was asked about the chances of PSG and the philosophy of play to adapt against Cityzens.
What kind of game do you expect tomorrow?
We expect a very good match, it’s a semi-final of the Champions League, both teams want to go to the final. We are happy to be able to play this type of match, it’s a good match. We must stay calm, continue like this, play our game, the one that has allowed us to get here today. It will be necessary to manage the emotions. There will be times when we will suffer. We want to play this final.
Will the advantage taken by Manchester City change the approach to this match?
It’s true that mentally it’s a little different. We want to go to the final, we have to win with a difference of two goals, that changes a bit. Our team starts every game with the desire to win, it’s a difficult team to play, it’s a field where it is difficult to win but we will do everything we can to get this final. We have nothing to lose. You have to be happy when you go out into the field. It’s a game everyone dreams of playing. If we want to reach the final, we will need character. We play with a lot of personality outside. We will need all of these ingredients. To go to the final, we have to go through this type of match. We want to try to play a big game to go to the final.
Can you describe the atmosphere within the group for us?
There is a great atmosphere. We still have the possibility of winning all the trophies possible one month from the end of the season, which means that we had a very good course. There was a bit of disappointment after the first leg, but that’s okay we didn’t deserve to lose. We have started to prepare for this Manchester match, we can’t wait to show on the pitch that we can do it all together. We are a very large group, we must be quiet, we must be the first to believe in ourselves. You have to be ready for each duel and that will be the only way to win this type of match.
You and Kevin De Bruyne are very creative players, will it be difficult to stop him?
Yes, he’s a very strong player, he’s fantastic. Now, when you want to win the C1, you have to face the best. It’s not just him, Manchester City have other great players. Football is a team sport. We will have to try to make the match difficult for De Bruyne thanks to our collective.
“A stroke of genius can change the game”
Did you say you have to be a warrior in the field, that will be the key to qualifying?
The main key is to play football, to create opportunities, to profit too. Football is a pleasure especially this type of match. There is the mind too. It takes a whole. A set of things to win the Champions League, it is played on small details. The 90 minutes cannot go as we wish, you have to be careful of everything, the slightest little stroke of genius can change the game, like us with Mbappé.
We talk a lot about De Bruyne, but isn’t the goal also to reduce the influence of Gündogan and Rodri?
Yes it’s a very strong collective since the arrival of Guardiola. Most of the players have been together for four or five years. We had a good game in the first leg, the second period was not as good, but because there is a great team in front. Gundogan and Rodri are very good players who control the team. You have to take control of the middle to have a great game.
What can you do on the ground to avoid suffering?
Praying to God (laughs) We are not aliens. We will suffer. If we don’t suffer … We play in the Champions League against one of the best teams in the world, we know we will suffer. The times when we have to suffer, we have to suffer together. It’s sport, football, there are times to have chances and to score and others to suffer. Of course, it won’t be easy to go to the final. We knew it. We suffered some until the last minute against Bayern Munich, against FC Barcelona too, but that’s normal. We are ready to do anything to reach the final tomorrow.
Manchester City like to keep the ball, how do you stay calm without the ball?
Guardiola has always done that, he likes to have control of the game, to accelerate …