One can not talk about the history of Paris Saint-Germain without mentioning Luis Fernandez. He spent a combined 13 years as both a player and manager with the club. He won three trophies in eight seasons as a player with the club and later went on to win 125 games and five trophies over five years as a manager. Fernandez was there during many of the club’s early memorable moments.
In speaking to Le Journal du Dimanche, he reflected on his time as both a player and manager. As a manager, Fernandez was able to work with several world-class talents, including Ronaldinho. Fernandez managed Ronaldinho for two years before the Brazilian departed for FC Barcelona where he established his legacy there. He gave his brief opinion on Ronaldinho’s debut season with PSG.
“You can say what you want, but Ronaldinho’s first season was a landmark,” Fernandez said.
However, Fernandez and Ronaldinho had a rocky relationship during their time at PSG. Fernandez provided a brief story about one instance where the Brazilian heightened up the tension between the two.
“Every morning, I would talk to Ronnie,” Fernandez said. “At one point, I explained to him that he was on the wrong track. He was a world champion and he had to be exemplary. At Christmas, he came home late from Brazil, supposedly because he had had his teeth pulled. He was lying. I asked the doctor to check. I couldn’t take it anymore. But then, I wasn’t supported by my president.”
Fernandez also talked about some of the players who the board almost signed while he was managing the club. He provided several names, including one AS Monaco and Juventus great.
“David Trezeguet had a trial with us,” Fernandez said. “Laurent Blanc after Saint-Etienne. Christian Karembeu in 1995.”
He was also asked whether the current PSG side is the greatest all-time in the club’s history. While the former manager did not provide a direct answer, he does believe that the team has what it needs to achieve its goals.
“It’s hard to compare, but it’s beautiful,” Fernandez said. “All the conditions are there to make something great.”
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