PSG Legend on Tuchel’s Formation, Kylian Mbappé, and Whether He’d Start on the Current Squad

Paris Saint-Germain legend Pauleta spoke with the official Ligue 1 website to discuss the current capital club squad. 

One of the first questions directed towards the Portugal international is the team’s offensive makeup. 

“Today, PSG are fortunate to have a lot of players who can make a difference at any time. There is Mbappé, Neymar, Icardi, Di Marí,” Pauleta said. “These are players who score a lot and who can make the difference in any match. It’s a great chance for Paris to have so much quality in front. It’s huge.”

The Ligue 1 website then gets a bit tactical with Pauleta. They asked the 47-year-old if manager Thomas Tuchel’s 4-4-2 system fits this current PSG squad. 

“When I was a player, I preferred the 4-4-2. When you are attacking, true nine, it is easier to have someone who evolves close to you in front. With the quality of PSG attackers, whatever the system. What really matters is how to behave when the ball is lost. If the four offensive players are able to have the right mentality and be rigorous defensively, I do not see why PSG could not play that way,” Pauleta said. 

“It is necessary that all the players make the effort. It is enough to see how Liverpool works, which won the last Champions League. All the offensive players are running. It’s huge. At PSG, there is as much quality as in Liverpool. The players just have to make the effort to lose the ball.”

With so many offensive talents, the former PSG striker answers the questions surrounding the possibility of the squad having too much talent. As a result, some players could have a hard time scoring when there are plenty of options. 

“There are opportunities for everyone. Considering all the opportunities that PSG get in a match, it’s almost impossible to finish without scoring,” Pauleta said. “When you play with four offensive players of this quality, you have to have one or two who will score a goal. Afterward, of course, you shouldn’t miss out when you have a chance.

The conversation switched over to Kylian Mbappé and Pauleta’s thoughts on the 21-year-old forward. 

“He can play any position ahead. I don’t know what his preference is, but if he plays alone in front, he will undoubtedly score a lot of goals,” Pauleta said. “This will also be the case when coming from the left side. It all depends on the system. In a 4-3-3, I put it on the left side. In 4-4-2, I put him in front of course, with another striker.”

Finally, one of the last questions that the league website asks the interview is over how many goals would Pauleta score in his prime with the squad. The answer will surprise many, but he doesn’t believe that he’d be in the starting eleven for this PSG team. 

“Already, I don’t know if I would have started! Today’s PSG number 9 has an obligation to score. PSG creates so many chances in a match that the current PSG center-forward, whoever he is, must score,” Pauleta said.

“It’s true that I set a lot of goals with Bordeaux and Paris, but it was another time. Football is different, the quality of PSG players too, so it’s hard to know. But surely, I would have scored a lot of goals, at least as many as during my most prolific season with Paris.”

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Tags Angel Di Maria Kylian Mbappé Neymar Pauleta
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