Despite having Lionel Messi,Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in his PSG team,Paris Saint Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino believes Chelsea still remains the team to beat in Europe. Here is what he said.
Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino believes
Chelsea are once again the ‘team to beat’ in the Champions
League this season.
The Blues were crowned champions of European football for
the second time earlier this year, as they beat Manchester
City 1-0 in the final thanks to Kai Havertz’s goal.
Since then, manager Thomas Tuchel has been able to
strengthen his squad further with the signings of Romelu
Lukaku from Inter Milan and Saul Niguez from Atletico
The former of those two acquisitions has enjoyed a blistering
beginning in his second spell with the Blues. Lukaku scored
the only goal of the game on Tuesday, as Chelsea got the
defence of their crown off to a winning start at Stamford
Bridge against Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Speaking before Chelsea kicked off against Zenit, Pochettino,
the former manager of Tottenham Hotspur, said he thinks
Tuchel’s outfit will be difficult to beat again, ESPN reports.
“It’s possible that Chelsea and ourselves are the two teams
to beat on paper, looking at our squads, but Chelsea are the
holders so they’re the team to beat especially after
strengthening their squad,” said the PSG boss.
“We’re not a team yet. We are a club that has recruited many
players this summer. There are some big names but we have
to turn into a team.
“We know that we’ll be judged at the end of the season on
our results. The pressure is there for all the clubs and we
know that for a number of years, the Champions League is
PSG’s main objective.”
PSG went on a remarkable recruitment drive in the summer,
signing Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum,
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi and more.
Given the French giants already boasted attacking talent like
Neymar and Kylian Mbappe before their summer acquisitions,
many are expecting them to finally go all the way in Europe’s
premier club competition.
In 2020 – when managed by Tuchel – they came close, losing
to Bayern Munich in the final, while last term they were
knocked out in the semi-finals by Manchester City.
Pochettino has also come agonisingly close to lifting the
European Cup, as his Spurs side came up short in the final
against Liverpool in 2019.
PSG will start their European campaign on Wednesday when
they travel to Club Brugge.