Galtier tells of pride at becoming PSG boss and stresses team theme

·4-min read
AP - Thomas Padilla

Freshly-anointed Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier spoke of his pride on Tuesday at capturing one of the most prized jobs in world football.

The 55-year-old Frenchman replaced Mauricio Pochettino as the head coach at the Parc des Princes.

Galtier's arrival had been expected since June following the appointment as sporting advisor of Luis Campos who worked with him at Lille.

And before moving on to playing style and team discipline, Galtier spoke about his own emotions at taking over at a club boasting Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar - some of the biggest names in the game.

"To tell you that I am moved, yes. That I am proud, yes," said Galtier who left Nice after one season.

Symbol

"The Parc des Princes is the symbol of French soccer. There is a phrase: 'This is Paris'. When you see this sentence, you can feel the expectations of the pundits and the fans.

"I'm proud because there are a lot of coaches who'd like to be in my place."

Galtier is the seventh first team coach in 11 years since the Qatar-based QSI group gained control of the club.

He is the first Frenchman to lead the club since the former France international Laurent Blanc departed in May 2016.

"I am aware of the responsibility I have been given to ensure that PSG has a great season," Galtier added.

"I have prepared myself for it. If I accepted this position, it is because I am capable of it. But alone it is very difficult, together we are much stronger."

Reputation

Galtier enhanced his reputation as one of the top coaches in France during his four years at Lille.

He took over in 2017 and after flirting with relegation drove the group to the 2021 Ligue 1 title ahead of Pochettino's PSG.

His ability to weld disparate talents into a vibrant yeoman collective made Lille the neutral's favourites ahead of the lacquered show ponies at PSG.

Now in charge of that particular stable, Galtier immediately declared his ambitions for his team.

"I've encountered locker rooms where there were a lot of egos," said Galtier

"It's a privilege to have this world-class team at PSG. The first thing is to exchange, but also to impose, there will be no compromise on what must be the strength of the group.

Vision

"We must have a common project, without any compromise. I know that I will have the support of the management, I know that I will have the support of everyone. From the moment a player is not in the project, he will be sidelined."

"It is always important to have the support and backing of the president. The way to work with Luis is that there is no compromise. The team before anything else. "

Occasional lapses would be tolerated, he said, but the ethos would be clear.

"Make sure that there is no player above the team. To make sure that this sum of talents becomes a great team with a great strength. I am determined to make this team very tight, demanding, determined to make the biggest season possible.

"If, unfortunately, there are players who go outside this framework, they will be removed. How will this be done? It will be done internally. No player will be above the group."

Courage

PSG's collective guts has been called into question during the club's forays in the Champions League.

In March 2017, a 6-1 second leg collapse at Barcelona following a 4-0 first leg victory, brought the Spanish word 'la remontada' into common parlance in France. In March 2019, PSG, who had won 2-0 at Manchester United, lost the second leg 3-1 to go out on the away goals rule.

In 2022, Pochettino's men were 2-0 up on aggregate at Real Madrid before Karim Benzema scored a hat trick to extinguish their hopes for another year.

Galtier's ventures into the Champions League with Lille failed to dazzle. "I understand people will be sceptical," he conceded.

"I learned many things during those matches and of course everyone will be focused on the Champions League. But if we win the Ligue 1 title at the end of the season that will give us 11 - and no other club has done that.

Work

"We will have to work as a club and as a whole and in the Champions League ... to win it you'll need that stroke of luck. In last year's competition we saw some irrational scenarios that nobody could have expected."

As part of the quest for trophies, Galtier said he would prefer a pruned down squad to increase involvement and prevent disruptive elements.

There was a place, he said, for the 222-million euro Brazil star Neymar who has been linked with a move to the English Premier League.

“You have to find a balance in the side," Galtier added. "But I have a very precise idea about what I’m expecting from Neymar. Of course I want him to stay. It’s better to have world-class players with you.”

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