Timothée Pembélé: 'An incredible thing'
The young defender tells us just how happy he is to extend his contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
Timothée, you've just extended your contract. How was that for you?
"It was really great! It's the result of all the work I've done since I joined Paris Saint-Germain. I signed my pro contract in 2018. The club offered me an extension, and I didn't hesitate. For me, the fact the club wants the adventure to continue is an incredible thing. I'm very happy to have extended my contract and to have the opportunity to keep working hard to get some playing time with the first team. When I signed my first contract, my aim was to get into the first team squad. I've done that. For my second, I hope to get some playing time and, one day, become a first-team regular."
How do you see your progress at Paris Saint-Germain?
"Getting into the first-team squad was a first step. I have to keep battling to stay there, because there's a lot of quality in the squad. With the Champions League especially, the level goes up and you mustn't miss any training sessions. I have to keep working to get into the squad as often as possible and to manage to get some time on the pitch. That's important for a young player."
How have you settled into the squad?
"The first training sessions were difficult. There was a lot of intensity, I struggled to keep up. It was hard, technically and physically. With time, you settle in, you adapt, and everything is going well. My teammates are extremely professional and very open to young players. They talk to us a lot, give us advice, on the pitch and off it, how to be when we're at home...they're really nice. The fact there's so much quality in every training session surprised me. It's incredible."
You made your Ligue 1 debut against Bordeaux. How was that?
"Before the game, I listened to a lot of music in the dressing room to relax and focus. I tried not to speak and laugh too much with the other youngsters in order to be concentrate as much as possible on what I was going to do. I spoke to Presko (Kimpembe). Keylor (Navas), Sergio (Rico) and Marquinhos also gave me a lot of advice before kick-off. They told me to stay calm, to not be afraid, to not stress, even if I had butterflies in my stomach because it was my first game at the Parc des Princes."