Club: His future at PSG, Galtier, the C1, the MNM, Ander Herrera gives himself up

Ander Herrera took advantage of his days off to give a long interview to the Spanish media AS. The 32-year-old midfielder has confirmed that he will continue at PSG next season, among other things. The Spaniard also mentioned the Champions League, the arrival of Christophe Galtier or the MNM and its organization.


Ander Herrera and his future at PSG:

I want to continue and enjoy a growing club surrounded by the best footballers in the world »

Yes, I will continue. I have been here for three years and I am happy. I think it’s a project that still lacks the icing on the cake. With all the demands I have on myself, I want to continue and enjoy a growing club surrounded by the best footballers in the world. I like my daily life, the city and my teammates. My family is happy and I want to continue. »

Haven’t you considered returning to Athletic Bilbao?

My intention is to continue at PSG. I admire Athletic Bilbao. I’m a Zaragoza fan, but I always give the example that Real Zaragoza looked a bit like Athletic. Not in philosophy, because it’s impossible, but in self-esteem, by defending what is ours… »

Afraid of the coming competition?

It’s something I like. In Manchester, I was asked the same question when Schweinsteiger, Matic, Pogba or Freid were there. Danilo, Gueye, Rafinha came to Paris… and I played and always had responsibilities. It made me a better footballer. I like having backgrounds by my side that make me and the team better. »

Personal summary of the season:

Until January, it was one of the best seasons of my career, if not the best. Then everything changed. I had a small hamstring injury and then an eye problem that prevented me from playing for two and a half months, and I don’t know where that started. It started as conjunctivitis then it got worse, I even infected my family and it was a pretty unpleasant few months. »

The coach

On the arrival of Galtier:

Every time I faced him they used a 4-4-2 with a very tight block, where it was very difficult to move the ball between the lines because they were very aggressive as soon as you made a mistake to be able to counter. They were a tough team to beat and they were champions with Lille, which was quite an achievement. On the football side, that’s what I can say, but Mauricio is still our coach. »

Lack of stability on the PSG bench?

No. We talk about PSG because people really like to talk about PSG. Many teams change coaches and we are not talking about a lack of stability. How many coaches have Tottenham or Inter had? Or Barca? PSG is on everyone’s lips and we accept it, but I don’t see a change of coach as a lack of stability. Even so, you can have a project. »

Champions League

Why has PSG still not won the Champions League?

Because two years ago we missed many chances against Bayern in Lisbon in a final that we deserved to win. And then because football is complicated, often two plus two does not make four. This season, we were superior to Real Madrid on 160 minutes, but it took them 20 minutes of lucidity to eliminate us. It’s soccer. That’s why we love it so much. And I don’t want to take any credit away from Madrid, because the reality is that they have something special and they have shown it. You have to take your hat off to this ability to overcome adversity. But if we focus on us, I think we were superior. »

I think we were superior. […] I’m having trouble finding an explanation »

The match against Real Madrid, a mental problem? :

No, I do not think so. Until 1-1, the team was doing really well. And it is that the second goal arrived in no time. And then came 3-1. I couldn’t be on the pitch because of this problem with my eyes, but I can imagine the feeling of disbelief from my teammates. I’m having trouble finding an explanation. I think a bit about that special aura that Real Madrid have against which you shouldn’t give them anything. Normally, all teams have to play very well to win. Madrid, no. »

Mbappe and MNM

Mbappé’s extension:

We weren’t surprised by the decision, we were surprised by the timing. We thought it would be a week or ten days later. We are very happy to be able to take advantage of whoever will possibly be the best player of the next ten years.. »

What to do with MNM in the field?

We know we need a working block of players to get the best version of the three. We had it sometimes during the season. As a midfielder, I am happy to do this job because they are decisive and they will win you games. I don’t care if they cover 14 kilometers per game if they have to be rested up front. What I have to do is work so that these three players receive the ball in the best positions and in the best physical condition possible.
I don’t see any problem with this trio on the pitch. In Madrid, I remember the times, especially with Mourinho, when they were a block of six or seven players in defense because when they stole the ball, there were three who stole. With Cristiano, Benzema, Di María… It’s about working on it
. »

Herrera, a player apart

You are a player who stands out a bit, very analytical. Are you like that in the locker room?

Whoever is outside in a certain way cannot change inside. I try to be natural with my team-mates as well as with my old friends from Zaragoza. I know footballers are selfish by nature, but in the case of coaches, I always try to sympathize with them. If I don’t play, I look for the reason. I’m not saying it’s a disaster, that he doesn’t love me… I like to reflect on the why and how. There are many who ask coaches why they don’t play. I try to analyze the reasons on my own and draw my own conclusions. So far it hasn’t been bad for me. Also, we players often think that football is 11 players. And it’s not like that. Just look at how important Rodrygo has been in Madrid’s Champions League… »

If I don’t play, I look for the reason. I’m not saying it’s a disaster, that he doesn’t love me… I like to reflect on the why and how. There are many who ask coaches why they don’t play. I try to analyze the reasons on my own and draw my own conclusions. »

In times when everything is very exposed like today, you have been at the center of attention on several occasions for your post-match analyses, which are very different from those of many players.

When I speak with a journalist, I try to do an analysis as I would with a friend. Not a hundred percent, logically, because sometimes you have to cut corners in what you say. If I had to say trivialities, I would prefer not to say anything. I try to say what I think with the greatest respect towards my teammates, my coaches and my club. I’m a football fan and I like to listen to interviews with players or coaches and I like that they send me something. I also want to say that I understand those who do not do so for fear of the repercussions that a badly said sentence may have. That’s why when they ask me, I take a few seconds to answer. I like to say what I really think. »

You have rubbed shoulders with many great midfielders like Tiago, Gabi, Pogba or Verratti. Did any of them particularly mark you?

They are all different. It would have to be done on a case-by-case basis. The best I’ve played with is Verratti, but I’ve played with great players. Thiago, what about Pogba, one of the footballers with some of the most impressive qualities… Or Schweinsteiger, who came to United at the end of his career, but it was amazing to see him. However, I have a special devotion to Verratti. A footballer always thinks he should play, but if he plays for you… Nothing to say (laughs). I put him on the level of Xavi and Iniesta. »

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