April 20, 2021

‘Prestige gets you nowhere’ – PSG’s Marquinhos expecting tough match against ‘fearless’ RB Leipzig

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The French champions have been warned not to underestimate Julian Nagelsmann’s side in Tuesday’s semi-final

Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos has warned his team-mates not to take Tuesday’s Champions League opponents RB Leipzig lightly, saying “relying on prestige doesn’t get you anywhere.”

The French champions go into the game as favourites against a Leipzig side competing in the Champions League for just the second time in their short history.

PSG, in contrast, have been regulars in Europe’s premier knockout competition in recent years.

They played another of the tournament’s surprise packages, Atalanta, in the quarter-final last week and trailed going into the closing stages. But stoppage-time strikes from Marquinhos and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting sent Thomas Tuchel’s side through to the last four of the competition for the first time since 1995.

Leipzig, meanwhile, beat Atletico Madrid to reach this stage having already comfortably dispatched Tottenham in the previous round, demonstrating considerable European pedigree despite their relative lack of experience at this level.

Brazil international Marquinhos says those results should act as a warning for his side when they take to the field in Lisbon on Tuesday.

“They are a young team and fearless, as they’ve shown already in this Champions League season. They’ve played great,” he told UEFA.com.

“In the previous match against Atletico Madrid; they totally dominated the game. So, we know we’ll have to give our best. Nowadays, relying on prestige doesn’t get you anywhere.”

PSG have dominated French football over recent years, winning seven out of the last eight Ligue 1 titles, helped by the considerable investment from President Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Qatar Sports Investments group.

However, they have so far failed to translate that domestic dominance into the European success their owners crave.

Marquinhos, though, feels the club have benefitted from the one-legged knockout format of the tournament this year, giving them a great chance of reaching next week’s final.

“Because these are one-off games only, we’re seeing plenty of excitement in all the matches. It’s now become like a World Cup of sorts,” he added. “That’s why it’s been so joyful, so full of excitement.

“We’re aiming to win this trophy because we’re ambitious. We want it; we have this dream. But we’re aware that it’s a long and hard road. There’ll be struggle, it won’t be easy, so it’s not enough to just dream about it.

“We’ve seen that playing as a team, having a strategy and playing with strength make a huge difference on the pitch. So, we simply have to do our best and play at our highest level.

“We have quality, talented players, but we must come together and help each other on the pitch, give all that we have and put all our effort and heart into what we love, which is football, and fight to win this.”