Paris Saint-Germain coach Luis Enrique said Tuesday he was unfazed by the pressure ahead of Wednesday’s crunch visit to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
PSG need to win in Germany to guarantee progress to the knockout stages and avoid falling into the Europa League for the first time since the club was taken over by Qatari investors in 2011.
Luis Enrique, who won the Champions League as manager of Barcelona in 2015, dismissed suggestions his position could be under threat.
“Be positive my friend,” the Spanish coach said on Tuesday, explaining “if you don’t want the pressure, you shouldn’t sign for a big club as a player or a coach”.
“I have no problem with the attention or the pressure – I’m just here to enjoy the show.
“We have to treat it like a final and play well against a very good team that is already qualified.”
Dortmund have secured their place in the knockouts but need to avoid defeat in order to finish as group winners and ensure a more favourable last-16 draw.
If PSG draw or lose, the French champions will need Newcastle and Milan to share the points in their match to avoid an early elimination.
PSG are top of Ligue 1 after winning their past eight matches, but Luis Enrique’s side have lost both away fixtures in the Champions League this season.
“Our fate is in our hands. We are capable of winning the game tomorrow — now we need to show that on the pitch,” added the Spaniard.
PSG will have to do without former Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele, while Goncalo Ramos is also a doubt for the match.
Defender Marquinhos, who has been at PSG for a decade after joining as a teenager, backed his side to make the knockouts.
“If I didn’t think the team had the character to do it, I would have stayed at home.
“These moments are what you want in football. This is how you make history.”
Dortmund coach Edin Terzic said his team would be “brave” against the under-pressure French champions.
“They know they need a win, but they know we also want the win,” Terzic told reporters on Tuesday.
The coach said his side would need to defend PSG’s “world-class Kylian Mbappe” as a team.
“It doesn’t matter which player plays one-on-one against Kylian Mbappe, it will always be difficult.”
Mbappe scored as PSG won 2-0 in Paris in September, Dortmund’s only loss in the Champions League this season.
Dortmund are only fifth in the Bundesliga after just one win in their past six games but have impressed in Europe, qualifying from a tough group with a match to spare.
Dortmund defender Nico Schlotterbeck said simply qualifying for the knockouts was not enough.
“If you finish first, you might have an easier opponent,” he said.
PSG eliminated Dortmund in the competition in 2020 but Terzic insisted that in itself was not motivation.
“I find revenge to be the wrong word in sport,” he said.
“What motivates me is to win games and to walk off the pitch as victors.
“We want to show the fans a great game.”
Dortmund go into the fixture without a number of players including captain Emre Can, who is suspended.
Marcel Sabitzer and Marius Wolf are fitness doubts, while Felix Nmecha, Youssoufa Moukoko and Julian Ryerson will not play again in 2023 due to injury.
World Cup News
/ 21 hours ago
Three German ex-top football officials went on trial on Monday in a 13.7-million-euro ($14.8...
/ 3 days ago
Saudi Arabia formally launched its bid to host the 2034 World Cup on Friday,...