For having faced him but also led when he was Argentina coach, Jorge Sampaoli knows his little Messi perfectly well.
Two days before the OM-PSG clasico (Sunday at 8:45 p.m. at the Vélodrome), the Marseille coach spoke at a press conference on his former captain at the Albiceleste.
“My memories of Messi are seeing him train, play on the pitch. Unfortunately, I did not experience a favorable context to be able to benefit a lot from it
(Editor's note: he only made fifteen games at the head of the national team in 2017-2018)
, explains the South American technician, but I do not never changed my mind about him. He has a great career at the top, he is an eternal player, thanks to his professionalism and his involvement. It will be a pleasure to see him on the pitch again, even if it's very complicated because he can hurt us a lot at any time ”.
For three years, the two men have not spoken again.
“I played against Messi, I also led him.
We know that he is the best player in the world, and he is therefore a very difficult player to control, continues the strong man of La Canebière.
The most important thing will be to know how to minimize the individualities they have, thanks to our game. We have to make sure that Leo Messi is far from our goal.
If he's close, we all know he has the ability to hurt us badly.
The best way to stop such a player is to control the game ”.
"I can not consider that the title is today for the PSG"
The hot coach of Casilda wants to be inspired by the promising draw at Lazio (0-0), Thursday in the Europa League to worry the Parisian armada, undefeated at the Vélodrome for ten years. “We know that if the opponent manages to skip our pressing, there will be a lot more difficulties for us. It's a team that has a lot of precision and speed, he analyzes. Their attackers will have to touch few balls. Against Lazio, we prevented Immobile from approaching Pau Lopez. We will try to do a bit of the same thing on Sunday. "
Sampaoli, who paid a small tackle to the Qatari owner of PSG ("We can now see a country that buys a club and therefore the best players. We have Mbappé, Di Maria, Neymar, Messi in the same team ... Only one country can do it ”), knows that Marseille fans expect a lot from the Sunday shock.
“I can not consider that the title is today for the PSG, loose he.
It is true that they show consistency, with a team built for.
But a lot of things make us think that we can also do something against them.
You have to know how to take advantage of the opportunities that we will have in this match as well.
We have this hope… ”