Former manager Vahid Halilhodžić is singing the praises of Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier and how he’s using the Ligue 1 giants’ star players like Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Halilhodžić spoke to French publication L’Equipe on Sunday after the capital club thrashed Lille OSC 7-1 at the Stade Pierre Mauroy. The 69-year-old stated that the tactics (3-4-1-2) put in place by Galtier since his arrival are ideal for the stars of PSG.
“Neymar plays higher and asks for balls in the depth that Messi gives him. The Argentinian makes a recital in number 10, in the simple game and in the intervals,” Halilhodžić said.
“I also find him smarter. He carries the ball less than at Barça. Messi is a school of football. In this position, he is more in this thinking to help Neymar and Mbappé than to score and think about the Ballon d’Or. This is the new thing I saw tonight (yesterday).”
Despite the uptick in scoring since the 2022-23 season began, Halilhodžić believes that not everything is perfect in this PSG and should still improve in certain areas, such as block defensive replacement.
“His first line is sometimes too far away and his corridors too wide,” Halilhodžić said. “He must close more quickly on the ball side to block the opponent and thus avoid creating as many chances.”
Although Galtier has PSG clicking in Ligue 1, which the French giants struggled under former manager Mauricio Pochettino, many will be judging what the 55-year-old does in the UEFA Champions League.
Nonetheless, Halilhodžić does feel that PSG has everything it takes to finally win the Champions League this season under Galtier.
“The squad is by far the best in the world,” Halilhodžić said. “Afterward, it is also a question of social relations between the players. They must be brought together in a common project so that everyone puts their ego aside and remains at this level and in this collective spirit.
If so, I don’t see a team capable of preventing him from realizing his dream. A lot can happen between now and April-May. But he is off to a great season.”