Mauricio Pochettino has spoken for the first time about his Paris Saint-Germain exit since leaving the club at the end of last season and has acknowledged that the Champions League was his downfall.
The Argentine coach explained that for the Parisian club, it’s all about the Champions League, so after being knocked out spectacularly by Real Madrid, the writing was on the wall.
“Everything [at PSG] is focused on the Champions League,” Pochettino told Argentine outlet Infobae, “and sometimes that can be a little distracting.
“Those demands seem to only exist in the build-up to European games and other competitions are taken for granted due to PSG’s superiority
“The Champions League is the obsession and anything short of winning the Champions League is equivalent to failure.”
Pochettino, who is currently at his home in Barcelona, waiting for job offers, did say, however, that he believes PSG have done the right thing in going all-in to retain Kylian Mbappe at the club.
That said, he maintains that his compatriot Lionel Messi is the best in the world.
“PSG have done everything possible to keep Kylian [Mbappe] and I agree with that,” said Pochettino.
“He’s one of the best players in the world right now and I think PSG, with all the resources they have to do so, have convinced him to stay.
“[Messi] is the best player in the world without a doubt.”
Unforgettable night at the Bernabeu
The pivotal moment in Pochettino‘s season in 2021/22 was the Champions League tie against Real Madrid and Los Blancos’ remarkable 30-minute comeback.
The coach hasn’t forgotten the game or what he feels was a foul by Karim Benzema on Gianluigi Donnarumma.
“I think it was a foul and if VAR was checked we’d be talking about something else right now… Real Madrid’s elimination,” said Pochettino.