FC Barcelona – La Liga Di Maria won’t play against Barcelona
A week away from the first-leg of the Champions League clash between PSG and Barcelona, Mauricio Pochettino has responded to the controversy about Lionel Messi, claiming the front page of France Football had nothing to do with the Ligue 1 giants.
Many at the Camp Nou, including Ronald Koeman and the player himself, were already annoyed by the way Messi was being spoken about in Paris and then France Football magazine put an image of the Argentine in a PSG shirt on their front page.
“It’s clear that here there is absolute respect for all clubs and the players of other clubs,” said Pochettino in a press conference.
“We mustn’t confuse a magazine like France Football designing a cover like that, it has nothing to do with PSG.
“When one player talks about another it is out of friendship and affection.”
The PSG head coach insisted that they had done nothing untoward and even turned the tables around, appearing to accuse some of double standards.
“At no moment have we done anything incorrect. Barcelona and Real Madrid players are allowed to talk about other club’s players,” said Pochettino, perhaps referring to the way Neymar has been talked about by some in Barcelona.
Looking ahead to next week’s match, Pochettino confirmed Angel Di Maria’s absence while lamenting the lack of time he can spend on the training ground with his players.
“Di Maria won’t make it for the Barcelona game, the club has already stated the steps he will have to follow,” said Pochettino.
“After eight games in a month, where do we find time to train the players?
“We try to make the most of it and impose our identity on the team, but the evolution of the game, in ideas, concepts, physically, needs time.”