Ander Herrera’s first season with Paris Saint-Germain didn’t go as he would’ve liked considering the injuries. Nonetheless, the 30-year-old talked about his experience in French football with Revista Libro.
One of the first questions the media outlet asks Herrera is about the city of Paris. The French capital is one that many people dream about visiting, so Libro wants to know if the midfielder is one of those.
“It happens to me a little. Of the cities I have visited as a tourist, it is the most beautiful I have ever seen,” Herrera said. “It is true that on a personal level, it has been football that has led me here. But here you breathe something special.”
Next up, they want to know why Paris attracts the superstars, but Herrera suggests that there’s more to the city than the limelight that many see on television or elsewhere.
“You see cases like Marquinhos, Verratti, Thiago Silva or Edison Cavani, who seems to me an example in everything, who have been in PSG for a long time,” Herrera said. “There are players who have taken root and who feel the team as their own. I am not going to deceive you. It is a club that remunerates its footballers very well, like Real Madrid or Barcelona.”
“It is a super attractive club for its stadium, its sports city, for being in the most beautiful city after Zaragoza. I believe that Paris is much more than money. I would buy that opinion that people have that the club is only money if we changed 20 players every year, but that is not the case.”
Since the purchase of PSG by Qatar Sports Investment in 2011, the capital club has experienced rapid growth. However, Herrera believes that Les Parisiens would see this boom eventually considering the city they play in.
“Paris is experiencing a football explosion at the level that corresponds to it as a city. As in other places like Madrid, Rome or Lisbon,” Herera said. “Here, it was necessary for PSG to be a mass phenomenon, and for ten years, it has had a huge boom. It is the club with the highest level of growth in the world. There is none that has evolved so much in terms of marketing and football.”
With the growth, PSG’s expectations have grown. Many supporters often see a season as UEFA Champions League or bust. Herrera adds that although a club doesn’t win the European competition, it shouldn’t mean that the season is a failure.
“It seems incredibly excessive to me the demand that this club has, especially from the outside. It is that almost neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid have it. We are focused first on national competitions because the Champions League is more a dream than a goal,” Herrera said. “Guardiola said that not winning the Champions does not mean that you had a bad season, and it is true. You have been able to make a great year and that the ball hits you on the post, or the VAR cancels a goal, and you stay out. What makes you de-show a good season first, are the national competitions.”
Finally, Herrera answers a question surrounding the noise that can eat up PSG, whether from the media or fanbase.
“We have a great track record in the league, and at a minimum, the haters or the press appear to look for problems or the wound to nail there. That is why within the club, we have a “we against everyone” mentality,” Herrera said. “You think about it, and neither Bayern, Juventus, Atlético, Manchester City, or Manchester United are as demanding as PSG. It is something we have to deal with. You have to have personality to be in this club.”
Want more PSG? Visit the PSG Talk Podcast Network page and subscribe to PSG Talking, The 1970, and 24th & Parc.