Marquinhos: 'Put in the same ingredients'
The Paris Saint-Germain captain stopped by to tell us about how he plans to lead the side into the UEFA Champions League encounter with RB Leipzig.
Marqui, firstly, how are you approaching your role as captain?
"I'm very proud. The club has given me this responsibility, and I'm very happy about that. I know the importance of it, and I'm proud every day to wear the armband. I've worked a lot to become captain of this team, but I don't forget that it involves great responsibility. I'm ready to assume that."
How did the transition go?
"I spoke a lot to Thiago during the Final 8, but also during the years we spent here together. I was the third captain with Thiago Silva and Thiago Motta, and then I became the vice-captain. I started to have more responsibility, and more say in decisions. We talked a lot, we advised each other and spoke a lot. And he did everything for me to feel ready when the time came to take the armband."
The club experienced something special in Portugal...
"It was one of the best moments of my career, personally and collectively. And I think it was also a great moment for the club. It was a special format with some crazy emotions. You could say it was a real step forward for us, we want to go even further, take that extra step. To do that, we have to keep giving our all on the pitch, working and giving the best of ourselves in each game."
Before this trip to Leipzig, you can't help but think of the teams' last meeting...
"We mustn't think about everything that happened during the last game against them. It's another context, a completely different match. We have to prepare for the upcoming game, put in the same ingredients as the last match, the same intensity, the same energy. We were able to seize the initiative early in the last game against them, that helped us. We have to keep the positive things we did, put right what didn't go well and analyse this team well, see how they play, to be ready."
How do you feel the team is playing right now?
"Perhaps we're not playing our best football right now, but we're winning, and that's what's most important in football in the short term. And we have to keep winning. Regardless of the opponent, regardless of the manner for now...It's by winning that we'll improve. We're going to put in the intensity required and optimal team performances will follow. We try not to listen too much to what people outside the squad say. We have a job to do, and we know what we have to do to achieve that."