After a 2021-2022 season deemed disappointing despite obtaining the 10th title of French champion in the history of the PSG, the leaders of the Rouge & Bleu have decided to set up a new revolution. And in order to carry out this new project, Luis Campos was appointed football adviser and Christophe Galtier coach. After promising first steps in his new position, the 55-year-old French coach will be keen to fulfill the club’s objectives by showing an attractive face. In a long interview granted to the daily The Parisian, Christophe Galtier discussed this new adventure with the PSG. Selected excerpts.
A barrier to having Marseille origins and being accepted by the Parisian public?
“When the opportunity to train the PSG happened, neither I nor my very close family said to each other: be careful, you are from Marseille. I am a French coach and I will give everything to go as high as possible. If there is a French coach who has always spoken well of PSG, it’s me. I have always considered him the locomotive of French football. »
Have you imagined one day coaching PSG
“With 100% honesty, I always wanted to coach the PSG. Ask my home environment… Obviously, as a gamer, I played a few PSG-OM, there were also good confrontations when I was assistant there. But for a Marseillais, I have always had a different view of what the Paris Saint Germain. There is no will to seduce or to make com in what I am telling you. If I’ve never said it before, it’s because I’ve never been asked the question. »
Were you afraid of missing your first meeting with PSG?
“I don’t know if the term ‘to miss’ is right. When we are at PSG, the pressure is enormous. I quickly announced the importance of seeing the PSG dominate the championship and all other national competitions. But we must not trivialize a victory, it is not that the Champions Trophy ! When the PSG don’t win it, we see what the repercussions are. We prepared it in a very serious way, but I was not afraid of missing out. I was very focused and determined. »
Skepticism around his appointment
“It’s an incredible source of motivation. I don’t suffer it, I lean on it. I understand that could be the case. Then there are some guys – who don’t deserve the title of journalist – and whom I find both rude and sometimes very disrespectful. But that doesn’t trigger resentment, it’s a source of motivation. I understand everyone’s skepticism when my name appeared: I don’t have an international background, I’m from Marseilles… But damn, I’m so happy to be here! (…) There is skepticism about my management of egos and star players, but where everyone really has doubts about me is on the Champions League. I respect those doubts. But there, there is an incredible team. I’m not trying to get out of the pressure, but the Champions League is such an irrational competition (…) We must have the ambition to win it. But eight or ten teams say the same thing. I’m not expecting it either impatiently or greedily, but I’m waiting to be able to express myself with a group with extraordinary potential. »
The obligation to speak in French in the locker room?
“I’m going to come back to the bonds because everything I hear annoys me a little! Me, at the level of the group, I speak only in French. This does not prevent me from asking my staff. to translate certain things to avoid misunderstandings. But there is no obligation to speak French in the locker room. There are Argentinians, Portuguese, Spaniards… Why would they speak to each other in French? I worked abroad. When I met a francophone, I spoke French to him. These obligations are pure fantasy! I also heard that I forbid telephones at the table. It’s wrong ! I just ask them to cut the bells and not answer at the table. But I don’t forbid them to watch a live football match anyway or to receive an urgent call. In this case, they make a sign and isolate themselves, there is no problem. »
Will he establish a hierarchy in the goalkeeper position and the captaincy for penalties?
“The only hierarchy I have established is the choice of goalkeeper. It’s difficult for Keylor (Navas) but that’s my modus operandi, I didn’t want any ambiguity. I prefer to choose a number 1, then it’s up to him to be efficient, knowing that he (Donnarumma) is pushed by a very great goalkeeper, with a great record. Regarding the captaincy, it was clear for me to continue with Marquinhos. For the vice-captains, I am thinking more of a group of referent players, of ‘leaders’ with different profiles, backgrounds and connections in the locker room. When I have decisions to make about group life or possibly a player who has gone out of control, I first talk to my managers about it. »
His feelings when Luis Campos called to tell him about the project
“There was not a second of hesitation. I made him repeat all the same, to be sure that he speaks to me of the PSG. Especially since at the start, he had just told me about a big project. It’s before the last day of the championship, when I’m in a decisive game to ensure that OGC Nice finishes 5th or better, that I receive the alert announcing Luis Campos to to to Paris Saint Germain. There, I say to myself, so that’s the project (…) Luis and I are complementary, and when one of us intervenes in the area of expertise of the other, he does it with great respect. »
Is there a lack of physical density, especially in midfield
” Yes, but when danilo between, it has that impact. Obviously, I ask myself the question of having, in certain matches, a little more athletic density, whether in the ability to win balls, to bring power and strength than in the field of aerial play, especially on set pieces. Danilo can be that player. Afterwards, will he want to stay? Will he be afraid of playing less? In this year of world Cup in the middle of winter, all the players are thinking about this. But to answer the question and without making a comparison, I have the image of three not very tall and not very athletic midfielders (Xavi, Iniesta, Messi) who won the biggest trophies (laughs). »