Paris Saint-Germain crashed out in the Coupe de France, and one of the major talking points from the penalty kick shootout loss was the decision to send out Xavi Simons.
According to L’Équipe (via Culture PSG), the 18-year-old had to take that shot on goal because the other experienced players didn’t want to step up to extend the shootout, which had gone past the five initial shooters.
Before Simons took the strike, the other players on the squad who had yet to take a penalty kick were Presnel Kimpembe, Thilo Kehrer, Danilo Perreira, and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Nonetheless, the French media outlet states that Simons takes all the penalty kicks when he plays with the youth teams, showing a great conversion rate.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino said that Simons wasn’t his choice when asked about the decision. The Argentine tactician added that he continues to believe in the teenager despite missing the penalty kick against Nice.
“For the others, it depended on how the players felt. They took the places that suited them. Xavi was not my choice,” Pochettino said. You have to keep absolute confidence in him, like for any other PSG player . . He has the same rights. There is logically a great disappointment for him, and the others as well.”