MAURICIO POCHETTINO admits he needed to ‘adapt’ in order to fit Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe into the same star-studded side.
Paris Saint-Germain arguably boast the best front three in world football after landing Messi in a stunning free transfer from Barcelona last summer.
Mauricio Pochettino has opened up on managing Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian MbappeCredit: Getty
Poch admits he needed to ‘adapt’ as a manager to fit the trio into his PSG sideCredit: YouTube: BT Sport
The trio have 35 goals between them so far this season, with a further 32 assists.
And PSG are now hoping to move one step closer to lifting the Champions League by seeing off Real Madrid in tonight’s last 16, second leg clash.
However, history has shown that not all teammates can gel, especially those used to playing individual starring roles at other sides.
But, despite Messi netting just TWO goals in 17 Ligue 1 games, the giants are 13 points clear in the title race.
And Pochettino reveals it was down to him as manager to ‘adapt’ and find the perfect solution for all three superstars.
He told Rio Ferdinand’s Between the Lines: “I think that you need to adapt because Messi and Neymar are not young guys that came through the academy, they are world champions, just like Kylian.
“But to be honest, they love football and have the passion. They want to be involved in the decisions and need to know the idea of how we are going to play and they are not difficult.
“From the outside you could say ‘Oh maybe that’s difficult,’ but they love football and they connect very well with the idea to be connected to the team.
“And I think that it’s a very good game that we play, we press really high.
“He’s [Mbappe] amazing. He’s so easy to coach. He’d love to play more centre left because he has the capacity to go inside and shoot.
“He can play in any position. In 2018 when he won the World Cup he played right on the side of the line and he was amazing.
“He needs to feel free on the pitch. Of course, respecting some principles and starting position when you don’t have the ball, but in an offensive, with the talent that we have with the likes of Messi and Neymar, he needs to feel free and run and go wherever he wants.
“Messi is a player that needs to feel free to find his space. He’s so clever and you never need to tell him where to go because he’s reading in every single action where the team need him.
“Of course, the process for all around is to know him. At Barcelona, all of the players knew him and they tried to find him quick, accelerate the game and sometimes more lateral and make him feel like the main player like he is.
“But sometimes with us it’s time to share but then to know him and what he needs. Sometimes we need to play with him and sometimes we need to give the ball and find him in a different way.
“He’s so humble and loves to be involved with the team and group and doing the same as the others.
“He’s special and has a great charisma and energy but he’s simple. He’s not difficult. Of course, he is Messi and has his ideas, but he is normal.”