Marquinhos: 'We're here to make history'
After a supreme semi-final display, the Brazilian looks back on the win against RB Leipzig and ahead to the final.
Marquinhos opened the scoring in the 2-1 quarter-final win against Atalanta and found the net once more in the semi-final. The club vice-captain has been just as good in midfield as in defence, and is now looking forward to taking another historic step, as he told PSGTV.
Tell us about the semi-final...
It was incredible. I've calmed down a bit now. It's great to have qualified. We're here to make history, we've already taken a big step and there's one left. It was an incredible performance, controlled from start to finish, and I was able to score the opening goal. Now, we have to do it again in the final.
It's a great feeling, great energy. We deserved that result. We killed off the game. We were really aggressive and we have to keep going like that. We had prepared well, we had the right strategy, we had studied Leipzig. We knew the points to exploit, their strengths too. That made the difference.
Paris has the best defence in the Champions League this season. Is that the key to your success?
The defence has been our strength this year. I think a team has to defend well and be solid at the back to get good results. We have great players in attack, but we also have a solid defence and that really makes the difference. We know we're going to score, we know our qualities up front, so if we can keep things tight at the back, it's crucial, and we need to do that in the final too.
Talk us through your goal...
It was incredible. I know that it's not the most important job of a defender to score goals, but a set-piece can change a game and that's what happened. It gives you energy, and confidence. In fact, everything was well prepared. That very afternoon we'd talked about exploiting that. We knew that if the ball was played quickly, with the right timing, we could hurt them from that position. For the goal, Di Maria sent over a great ball, I just had to push it towards the ball. It was a great move, everything worked really well.
The team seems more united than ever, on and off the pitch…
The atmosphere is great. On the pitch, that makes the dffierence when you lose the ball. There is always someone who'll sacrifice themselves for the other. Everyone defends, helps, lends a hand, everyone is striving for the same goal. It's not only in the good times, because we have also had difficult times in which we've had to stick together. Now it's a good time and we have to keep that unity.
How is it to be locked down for the whole Final 8?
Each time I speak to my kids I tell them that I miss them but that Daddy doesn't want to come home yet. He wants to come back on Monday with a medal. We're getting positive vibes from those who have stayed in Paris. The fans, our families, all that motivates us to battle in matches. We're enjoying being on the pitch, and they suffer sometimes more just watching us. It's great to call them afterwards and share that happiness.