Luis Enrique and Joaquin Valdes, PSG's hidden psychological advantage

Paris Saint-Germain v Stade Rennais FC - Ligue 1 Uber Eats
Paris Saint-Germain v Stade Rennais FC - Ligue 1 Uber Eats / Franco Arland/GettyImages

In the world of football, the presence of a psychologist within the coaching staff is not common. However, for Luis Enrique, this figure has always been crucial. From his beginnings as a coach to his current position at Paris Saint-Germain, Joaquin Valdes Fonseca is his loyal companion, friend, confidant, and much more. Le Parisien explains this relationship to us.

Since 2008, Valdes has accompanied Luis Enrique on his various adventures, whether at Barca B, Roma, Celta de Vigo, FC Barcelona, or even the Spanish national team. His discreet but essential presence behind the scenes of the clubs where Enrique has worked does not go unnoticed. His role as a sports psychologist is rare in the world of professional football but has become indispensable for Enrique.

Their relationship goes far beyond the football field. Valdes has been there with Enrique in the most difficult moments, especially during the tragic death of his daughter Xana in 2019. Their friendship and professional collaboration are exceptional, and their complicity is felt even off the field.

An equally important presence for PSG

For Enrique, the importance of having a psychologist on his team is evident. Since his playing years, he has always recognized the crucial role of this figure for his well-being and that of his players. Valdes is not only there to help players overcome their problems but also to emotionally support Luis Enrique himself. His extra-sports experience in group management, personality cohesion, and support from executives is invaluable.

At PSG, Valdes remains a constant and discreet presence. He is there not only for the players but also for the staff members, offering advice and support in difficult times. His role at the Parisian club underscores the growing importance of psychology and mental preparation in the world of high-level football.

By choosing to work with Luis Enrique, PSG has not only hired a renowned coach but also a valuable ally in Valdes. In a sport where pressure is constant and expectations are high, having psychological support can make a difference. Ultimately, this collaboration underscores the importance of considering the mental and emotional aspects of players to ensure their success on the field.