Paris Saint-Germain willed its way to the UEFA Champions League semifinals thanks to a thrilling 2-1 win over Serie A side Atalanta in the quarterfinal. This team needed such a win to uplift its confidence and to prove that it is more than capable of pulling off a deep run in the tournament.
Former French international and PSG winger Ludovic Giuly knows just what the club is going through from a mentality standpoint. Giuly was part of a couple of deep Champions League runs with AS Monaco in 2004 and FC Barcelona in 2006. He knows what it takes to pull off a title-winning campaign in such a competitive competition. He spoke to Le Parisien and provided his thoughts on what PSG’s recent win will do to its confidence and also compared the side to his Monaco team from 2004 that made it all the way to the final.
“It’s something that’s going to strengthen the group even more,” Giuly said. “It reminds me of our epic with Monaco in 2004. We felt that nothing could fall on us. But we didn’t have any experienced players except Morientes. PSG have plenty of them. When you live that scenario, you tell yourself that this is your year and nothing can happen to you. It shows you that you’re right to never give up. Of course, the Parisian team was united before the game.”
Giuly was asked whether this might be the year that PSG will win the tournament. He mentioned that the single-legged tie format for the semis may benefit them but also once again touched on the concept of team mentality.
“The danger is believing too much,” Giuly said. “Afterwards, if you’re honest, you might think everything works out. The one-game formula is perfect for PSG, and we mustn’t forget that. Paris sometimes find it difficult to calculate or manage over two games. On a single match, [PSG] lets go of it better. And the draw is more than affordable. But beware of excess.
“If the players think that fate has chosen them, it’s going to be complicated. For me, the real lesson is that the team is right to never give up. Not that they’ve already won.”
Still, the former Monaco forward thinks PSG is more than capable of reaching the final.
“But of course PSG can afford to go all the way to the final,” Giuly said. “Paris can win but we mustn’t say so. Afterwards, if I take a step back, I have the impression that the red carpet has already been rolled out for Paris. There’s only one step left to walk on it. And in the event of a final, anything, absolutely anything, could happen.”
PSG first has to take care of business on Tuesday, when it will meet Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in the semifinals.
Want more PSG? Visit the PSG Talk Podcast Network page and subscribe to PSG Talking, The 1970, and 24th & Parc.