The owner and president of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al- Khelaifi , obviously happy for his team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Champions League, referred to the future of Nevmar and Mbappe and expressed his optimism that:
«Neymar and Mbappe are Parisians and will always remain Parisians,» he said. As it is known, the contracts of both stars of Paris Saint-Germain expire in June 2022 and the negotiations for their renewals have already started.
The result of the «Nou Camp» that Paris had taken (4-1) showed that it was enough for the «capital» who this time gave 1-1 to Barcelona and will be present in the draw on March 19. Of course no one can ignore that Barcelona was superior on almost all levels.
The Catalans missed many opportunities, especially in the first half with Dembele, they had a goalpost and a missed penalty with Messi (Navas was blocked) at the end of the first 45 minutes to lead 2-1 and give more interest to the game in the second half. In the 90’s, Killian Bape also had a goal for Paris.
At the same time, the sports director of the French team, Leonardo, in his statements to Radio Monte Carlo, when asked on Thursday (11/03), about the prospect of acquiring Messi, said:
«… we are focusing on our games», but then he was more open in his positions: «We are monitoring the situation with Messi, but we have not made any move yet«.
In the first phase, however, Leonardo focuses on keeping the stars that Paris already has in its roster. «Our intention is to renew the contracts of the players we have in the team. Then we will see our other moves. We must also weigh the financial results of this season «.
Analyzing the data for Neymar and Mbappe, Leonardo stressed that «… they already know our intentions and we are trying to reach agreements for new contracts. We are in discussions, we are moving forward and we will see what happens «.
Navas and Barcelona
Meanwhile Paris confirm their place in the quarterfinals! An enthralling first half and calmer second allow the hosts to see off the danger of a Barcelona side who played as well as they have for some time in the UEFA Champions League, inspired by Messi’s magnificent goal to bring them level on the night after Mbappé’s early spot kick. Had Messi scored that penalty just before half-time, perhaps his side would have had more momentum to attempt an unlikely feat. As it is, PSG progress to the last eight, proving themselves strong contenders for the title once again with a convincing aggregate victory over heavyweight rivals.
Mauricio Pochettino on UEFA Player of the Match Keylor Navas: «He once again showed all his qualities. He’s a top-level goalkeeper.» That’s what happens sometimes and we were more combative in the second half. The important thing is that we qualified. We have to put the negative thoughts far from our minds.» «What’s obvious is that we were thinking too much in the first half. We were thinking too much about qualifying, and that’s what I said to the players [at half-time]. I asked them to play. Of course I wasn’t happy, and I told the players.«
Keylor Navas, UEFA Player of the Match: «I’m very happy because it was a difficult match. We all wanted to play a great game and make the most of the first leg to qualify. It’s always difficult [to save a penalty – especially against Messi, who takes them very well.«
Marquinhos, Paris captain: «There are good and bad moments in football. In a match, you have to be able to cope. We were able to do that with the help of our great goalkeeper, who made the difference. We were better in the second half and we deserve this qualification«.
and continued: : «It was a difficult match. We knew the context would be different compared to the first leg. Since that game, Barça have been playing better. They had the courage to press very high and make it difficult for us to get the ball forward.«
UEFA Technical Observer Corinne Diacre chose Navas as the Player of the Match, saying: «He kept the score at 0-0 for a long period and then kept his team in the game by saving Messi’s penalty just before half-time.«