New Paris St Germain manager Thomas Tuchel is relishing the prospect of working with the big players at the club, such as Neymar, Gianluigi Buffon and Kylian Mbappe, with the German saying they are the “easiest” to train. He also suggested Neymar is a champion and will bounce back from Brazil’s disappointing World Cup.
The former Borussia Dortmund coach replaced Spaniard Unai Emery, who has since joined Arsenal, in the French capital in May but is undaunted by the prospect of dealing with a dressing room full of big egos after a year out of the game.
“In my experience the biggest players are the easiest players to deal with as they want to compete and they want to win,” the 44-year-old told reporters in Singapore on Friday, a day ahead of a pre-season friendly against Arsenal.
“I am not here to teach them football and how to play, I am here to help them and organise a structure to show off their talent and keep them on track and hungry. I also need to show them the value of their behaviour and how it fits in to the work of the whole group.
“We have lots of big players and some that are still big but not as visible as some of the others, but equally as responsible for being role models for the group. We have lots of big personalities but I am not worried about this.”
Tuchel, whose side also face Atletico Madrid at the Singapore National Stadium on Monday, highlighted that every player, no matter how famous, would have grown to love the sport from a similar, humble background.
“In the end, all of these guys were somewhere as a five or six-year-old standing with a ball under his arm, playing on the beach, the houses, the streets,” he added. PSG boss also said he is not worried about Neymar’s mentality after Brazil flopped at the World Cup. Neymar described Brazil’s World Cup exit as the “saddest moment of my career” but Tuchel thinks PSG’s star man will recover quickly from that setback.
“Everything impacts everything. I don’t think he needed this to be extra motivated,” Tuchel told reporters on Friday.
“Of course, the whole Brazilian team expected more. Of course, it affects your approach to the players. Everybody in the squad and the club we want to help them feel very good soon so that they can approach their next goals and not worry about what happened at the World Cup.
“He is a big player. He knows how to handle victories and he knows how to handle losses. In sport, you have challenges to bounce back. He will bounce back. He is a champion.”
Neymar is yet to return to PSG duty and will not be available for their next pre-season game, an International Champions Cup clash against former head coach Unai Emery’s new club Arsenal in Singapore on Saturday.