Mauricio Pochettino has noted that he is now a “better person, professional, coach” after a season of managing Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe trio.
PSG won a mere one trophy last season, as it clinched the Ligue 1 title with 90 points over 38 matches. The Ligue 1 powerhouse failed to notch a domestic double, and it also crashed out in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 following its elimination at the hands of Real Madrid. Overall, PSG scored 112 goals in all competitions in the campaign — its fewest in nine seasons.
Despite PSG’s shortcomings last season, Pochettino, as he told the BBC, was much appreciative of the opportunity to coach Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe last season.
“In your mind maybe you make it a difficult idea to manage, but they are humble,” Pochettino said. “In the room that is not the public, the media, social media. I think the approach is completely different. When you have Maradona in the national team you have one, but Messi, Neymar, Mbappe – a 19-year-old who won the World Cup – I think that they all need space, all need to approach in a different way.
“Sometimes the man management is to not make a decision, be flexible and listen, and it was a massive, massive challenge, the greatest players. Now I am much better person, professional, coach, in every single aspect, to be able to have these type of players in the same dressing room.”
PSG is now led by manager Christophe Galtier, and the side finished the first half of the season in first place in the Ligue 1 standings with 41 points in 15 matches played.