Nasser al-Khelaïfi’s speech in the media has been expected for weeks. The president of PSG spoke for the newspaper Marca, evoking the future coach, but also the extension of Kylian Mbappé. He also commented on Javier Tebas’ complaint, and the arrival of Luis Campos at the club.
In addition to his speech attributed to Le Parisien in France, Nasser al-Khelaïfi also spoke in Spain for the newspaper Marca. The president of PSG spoke at length on the hot topics of the moment, from the extension of Kylian Mbappé, to the future of Neymar and the arrival of Luis Campos. He also mentioned the future coach, and denies having discussed with Zinédine Zidane. The full interview can be found below:
No talks with Zidane
Can we consider that the Pochettino era is over?
” We can’t talk about it yet, we will in due time, not now. »
Nasser al-Khela¨ïfi on Zidane: “ we never spoke to him »
Is Galtier the favourite? Was Zidane ever an option?
” I want to say something important about Zidane, he’s someone I liked a lot as a player and admire as a coach. I admire him, but we have never spoken with him, either directly or indirectly. I respect him and appreciate him immensely. Lots of things came out in the press but we never spoke to him. »
” He is Parisian, he is French, and he wanted to stay here to represent his city and his country, his club, and what has been said about him is not fair. »
Mbappé’s decision has been widely criticized in Spain, can you give your version and the reasons for your choice?
” I have a lot of respect for Real Madrid as a club, it’s a big club, but the first observation is that Kylian hasn’t decided to extend for the money. Real’s offer was better than ours. He is our player and he was interested in other clubs in England besides Madrid, but he chose PSG. We didn’t talk about money with him or his family until the last moment. Kylian was above all interested in the project, in football and sport. He is Parisian, he is French, and he wanted to stay here to represent his city and his country, his club, and what has been said about him is not fair. For them money is not the most important thing, they want to win and they want a sports project. »
According to Florentino, the player changed his mind ten days before his extension. When did you start to believe that Kylian was going to renew his contract?
” I don’t know what Madrid says, if it was days or months ago. I knew for 18 months that Mbappé wanted to stay and I said it every time I was asked. I heard that he said to himself in Madrid that he wanted to play for Real, but it was not true. We are referring to Real’s last offer, but this summer they had already made one of 170 and 180 million. This means that Real Madrid’s proposal, plus his salary, was already bigger than ours, as it is now. I refused 180 million and was told I was crazy, including people I trusted, because he could leave for free. But I did it because I was sure that Kylian was going to stay because I know him well, him and his family, I know what he wants. Kylian is very serious, professional, and what he wants is to win and play, he doesn’t care about money. I understand that Madrid are disappointed, but it’s not fair to say that about Mbappé. »
Tebas and Super League
The SuperLeague is still alive according to the three founders: Real Madrid, Juve and Barcelona believe it. And you?
” For me, it’s already dead. But it’s weird too. Real Madrid won the Champions League in a deserved way, but on the one hand they want to win it, they celebrated it for days, almost a week, and on the other hand they don’t like to play it. If you’re not happy, you don’t need to play it. It’s the best competition in the world in everyone’s eyes and I don’t even know why the Spanish fans are against this competition too, but for me the Superleague is dead. »
Are you worried about Tebas’ trial in French courts and in Europe?
” Who is Tebas? I do not know this person. Interfering in the affairs of other clubs, other leagues or federations is not our habit. But I will not accept that others give us lessons. I don’t care what he says, he repeats things that have been said for years. We have a football project to build and we will move forward. We are not worried about everything that comes out in the media, because we cannot waste time with everything that is said. »
” He should focus on his championship because he’s a bit dead »
Could Mbappé’s new contract endanger PSG in the face of financial fair play?
” Every year, every summer, it’s the same thing. Financial fair play, disrespect for others… We know what we can do, what we can sign, we know better than him what we can do and no one has to tell us what we have to do. Someone outside doesn’t have to tell us what we can or can’t do. If we do something, it’s because we can. Look at the case of Messi. It was the same, they said it was financially impossible and we made money with Messi. He doesn’t know, and he should focus on his championship because he’s a bit dead. »
Does the arrival of Luis Campos have a link with the extension of Mbappé?
” I want to make it clear that Mbappé has never interfered in sporting decisions, neither those of the coach, nor those of the players, nor those of anything else. What he wants is to win and it’s true that he gave his opinion on the project because he wants to win, but that’s it. He just wants to play. If he tells us something it’s because he thinks it’s the best thing for the club, but he never gets involved in the planning. »
What can Luis Campos bring?
” He has a clear, different objective, even if he has others during the transfer window. Young, talented, involved and with a winning mentality and players who want to die for this club. We want to be stronger collectively, for the players to play more for each other, as a team and for the club above all else. The club will be the most important thing. »
About Neymar: We can’t talk about these issues in the media, some will come and some will go, but these are private negotiations. »
Is Neymar part of the new project?
” We can’t talk about these issues in the media, some will come and some will go, but these are private negotiations. »
Reputation of PSG in Spain, future training center
How did you experience Madrid’s return to the Bernabeu?
” Winning the Champions League is difficult and we cannot say that we are going to win it for sure. But there is a foul that changes the whole game. We controlled the whole game until the 60th or 70th minute. It’s clear that experience is important, and we have to be mentally stronger like a big club, with more confidence, because that kind of thing can happen. But we need to be stronger and more united and that wasn’t the case against Madrid in the end, that’s the truth. »
Is the new padel circuit another of your goals?
” If we did it, it’s because we are sure of ourselves. Premier Padel is an opportunity for everyone, for players, for sport, for the Federation, for the media, to develop this sport worldwide as it deserves. We don’t want anything closed, unlike the Super League. It’s an open competition for players, we don’t close the door to anyone. The conflict is the same as that of the Super League. »
Does it bother you that in Spain people continually talk about PSG as a state club?
” In Spain, the state supports certain clubs, and more than us. A magnificent stadium in the middle of the city without paying anything? We pay for the stadium, for the training center, and they are more supported. It is not fair. We pay for the stadium, for the training center, for everything... »
What is the importance of the future training center in Poissy?
” This is the most important thing for us. We are going to build the best training center in the world to welcome and find the future Mbappé and to receive the best players from the Paris region and France. It’s our goal. »