Speaking in an exclusive interview with L’Équipe, Manchester City’s attacking midfielder Samir Nasri came out with some fighting talk ahead of the Citizens’s clash with PSG in the Champions League this week.
If you look at the respective seasons that both sides are having, PSG appear to be favourites…
Yes, PSG are favourites because we have a lot of injuries. We will sadly not be complete (as a squad). PSG starts with a little advantage. PSG also have the experience of being in the quarter finals two years in a row. For us, it is the first time. It is a slight handicap, but it will be an open affair.
The idea, is it to score a goal away from home?
The idea is to win at the Parc des Princes! From the moment that you are in the quarter finals and onwards, there is no plan, you play to win everything. Despite all the respect that I have for PSG, we have told ourselves that they are beatable. I was at the Chelsea match at the Parc des Princes and Chelsea had chances. We will have chances too and, if Kun (Agüero) is having a good day, we can hurt them.
Ibrahimovic was impressive against Chelsea. Is he PSG’s main threat?
He is a good player. I like his personality. He talks, he assures on the pitch. But it would be insulting to say that PSG is just Ibrahimovic. He typifies their attacking strength, but Cavani is also dangerous. I have seen some Uruguay games, he scored twice. Di Maria, his injury, that is a bluff. He will be there on Wednesday, and God knows how important he has been for them this season.
Aside from that, PSG’s strength has always been their midfield. The advantage for us is that Verratti might not be there.
PSG dominate Ligue 1. Would they do the same in the Premier League?
No. It is true that they have a great team, but I do not think that they would be better than others (in England). There is no easy match in England, not one. I would like to see PSG play at Stoke, at West Ham or at the Emirates against Arsenal… Today, the big four no longer exists. There are six, seven teams that can become champions. It is more difficult. That Barcelona could become champions here, yes, but PSG, they are not Barcelona.
PSG with the money from Qatar and Manchester City with money from Abu Dhabi, both clubs present similar projects. But PSG have been quicker to advance, notably on the European scene…
Why? Because there is more stability at PSG. Leonardo built a team and Blanc has continued what Ancelotti did. It is the same team as that of Ancelotti at the beginning, bar one or two players.
At City, we have had a bit of stability with Pellegrini who stayed for three years. But in terms of signings, things have changed a lot. There are three or four new players who arrive each summer. This PSG team knows each other very well, it has leaders. They decide basically everything that goes on inside the club. When the club wants to sign a player, Ibra, Thiago Silva give their agreement. If you want grow, it is like that.
Great clubs call upon their great players. PSG have understood that. Nasser is there on a daily basis, the prince pays a visit from time to time, which explains why PSG are ahead of City.