Former PSG Manager Luis Fernandez on the Current Champions League Run and Neymar’s Leadership

The last time Paris Saint-Germain played in a UEFA Champions League semifinal contest, Luis Fernandez was the one managing and guiding the club. While PSG fell short in the 1994-1995 Champions League tournament, Fernandez is well appreciated for taking the club to its first-ever semifinal appearance.

Now, PSG is back in the semis and focused on finally reaching the Champions League final. Fernandez has been closely watching this group as of late and in speaking to Le Parisien, he talked about just what was the turning point for PSG that helped them finally make a return to the semis of this competition.

“They’ve finally been rewarded,” Fernandez said. “They had that desire in them, that mentality that they perhaps lacked in previous seasons. It’s not about knowing how to play well. The Parisians weren’t as dominant as they were in the past, but it’s the result that counts. They were able to turn a bad situation in their favor.”

Fernandez knows that a team’s mentality plays a significant part in making a deep Champions League run. For one, PSG has made notable growth in this aspect thanks to its comeback wins over Borussia Dortmund and Atalanta in the knockout stage of this season’s tournament. Fernandez talked about a change that he has noticed in regards to PSG’s mentality and also lauded Neymar’s leadership.

“There’s been a change in this group,” Fernandez said. “I have the impression that this squad is living well, accepting each other, sharing and wanting to live an adventure together. The group is happy. Maybe something has developed during this long period without competition.

“The state of mind is irreproachable. And this season, Neymar is remarkable. You can sense in him the motivation and determination to carry the group on his shoulders. He’s the true leader of this team.”

Neymar will look to continue to lead PSG on Tuesday against RB Leipzig in the Champions League semis.

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Tags Champions League Luis Fernandez Neymar
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