PSG will face Lorient on Sunday, April 30, on the occasion of MD33 of Ligue 1. The team led by Christophe Galtier wants to further widen the gap in the French championship to secure an 11th Ligue 1 title that would make them the greatest historical winners of the competition.
On the other end, visiting the Parc des Princes will be an FC Lorient side carrying a losing streak of three defeats and two draws in its last five games, a vulnerability that the Parisians will try to take exploit by imposing their superior football.
Coach Galtier attended the pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon.
Here are some of the most interesting nuggets ahead of the match against Lorient scheduled for Sunday as PSG will get host their visitors at the Parc des Princes for MD33 of the Ligue 1 season.
How essential is Sergio Ramos on the pitch and in the the locker room? Is he staying next season?
"He had had a difficult season with calf injuries, he prepared well, he had a complete preparation, he is a hyper professional player. When you have such a record at this age (37), it's because you're putting all the odds on your side. He brings experience, daily requirements, and rigor, he is an important player in the locker room. His future? There are exchanges between the management and Sergio, we will see what happens. I remain very satisfied with what he brings on match days, it is an example that all our young players must follow."
Why doesn't Ismael Gharbi play more?
"I discovered him over the season, he is a hard-hitting, attacking player. He works a lot in training. There is what the workforce is, the requirement of results. There were periods when he had a lot of absences. It seemed difficult to me to integrate him into the game. There is a big evolution between Ishmael at the start of the season and at the moment. There is a lot more maturity, and feeling with his partners. There were opportunities but the team was struggling, it was difficult to get him to play."
Why is it complicated for you to give minutes to young players?
"They have an enormous privilege: that of training every day with players of an incredible level, players who have a great career. This is also progress. They have the privilege of being on the match sheet , which penalizes the development of the player because they lack playing time in their category. They are very young players who are 17-18 years old. Having minutes of play at PSG, obviously, it's difficult. There is a real desire to integrate our best young people and they are omnipresent in the sessions, that's already good."
Do you see something about the youngsters daily that others don't and that makes you not use them?
"There is the reality of the championship. Perhaps compared to previous seasons, PSG were almost champions and at that time, my colleagues had the possibility of integrating young people more often into matches. Today, we are not champions, we won last weekend in Angers, we have competitors who run at an incredible number of points. On a daily basis, I see young people who immerse themselves in PSG players, a technical requirement, a tactical development. There is work upstream of the session to be able to develop. When we are young, we obviously want to play. It cannot satisfy them. Being in the group on a daily basis, rubbing shoulders with world-class players, is a privilege. When you are 17 and you have this chance to start games, believe me, there are few clubs that can offer this."
Why are PSG's second halves worse?
"I told the players the next day that the team couldn't play a half. We have to play forward, break lines. I came back to this second period of Angers because after having made the difference, we expected something else and that we show another face. We pushed the ball without breaking the lines or making a lot of effort. You must have a notion of fun on the field. I have players who are on a personal level on stats, and goals, I'm thinking of Leo and Kylian. These players must be fed by our defenders and our midfielders and on this point, in Angers, we played very little forward. It wasn't getting nice."
Should PSG recruit in Ligue 1 rather than abroad?
"The club and the sports management are looking at what can be improved for next season. Obviously, we look at France, the players who perform, and those who shine internationally. Should we necessarily recruit in Ligue 1? When we have targeted positions and profiles, even if this is already the case, we will see."