Messi, Mbappe and Neymar’s ‘massive egos’ are to blame for PSG’s defeat by Real Madrid, says Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand

LIONEL MESSI, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar’s ‘massive egos’ were to blame for Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League collapse – not Mauricio Pochettino.

That’s the view of legendary Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.

Lionel Messi and Neymar couldn't lead PSG to quarterfinals


Lionel Messi and Neymar couldn’t lead PSG to quarterfinalsPhoto credit: Getty
Mauricio Pochettino will lose his job after the defeat


Mauricio Pochettino will lose his job after the defeatPhoto credit: Getty

PSG capitulated in spectacular fashion on Wednesday night, conceding a goal 17-minute hat-trick by Karim Benzema to completely turn the round of 16 upside down and finally bring down the French giants.

A catalog of mistakes and a complete lack of composure contributed to the pathetic performance.

And Ferdinand expressed his frustration that the team had to “carry” their all-star front three.

He told BT Sport: “I think it’s up to the manager to create that culture (where they don’t panic).

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“But even in this team there were massive egos that come with managing big clubs and there are players who are real superstars.

“You have Mbappe, you have Neymar, you have Messi now in this team that plays up front.

“And each of those players are players that you would probably allow as an individual on your team to be a passenger and you all work for that player.

“Having three of them makes it almost impossible to do it at the top level. They can do it and get away with it in the French league, like they do every year, they win the league.”


“But at that level it’s very, very, very difficult to take three players with you who aren’t able to work with the intensity that you probably need to win a tournament like the Champions League.”

Not only do they offer little defensively, messi hasn’t added much in attack either, with just seven goals in all competitions this season – and one in 2022.

His renewed inability to score against Real Madrid contributed to European elimination as PSG’s desperate hunt to win the Champions League continues.

And that will probably be enough PSG will sack Pochettino – most likely at the end of the season.

But, Fernando jumped in defense of Old Trafford goal.

Asked whether the criticism of Poch was fair, he continued: “I don’t think so given the history at PSG.

“A lot of managers have been there now and won the league and failed in the Champions League.

“We saw today how the team has evolved and this isn’t just an episode for a season, it’s something that happens continuously every year.


“You’re like, ‘You know what, PSG with the talent they have, especially in attacking areas, with the experience they have, a bunch of international big players they have, they’ll have a chance to win it. ‘

“And they fall in the quarterfinals, semifinals and lost in the final. It’s something that just happens.

“[It is a] dysfunctional team, I think that pretty much sums up the way they play.

“So I don’t think you can really point the finger at Pochettino too much when that’s been happening season after season.”

Michael Owen meanwhile highlighted PSG being “soft” at heart despite their superstar commitments.

The former Los Blancos forward added: “When the same things happen every year and it’s a different manager every year, then it’s hard for me to name that manager [not good enough].

“This team is like that. I stood here a few weeks ago and said Paris Saint-Germain won’t win the Champions League because they are soft and they have been soft for five, six, seven years.” .

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“People get carried away and say, ‘Look at all these players, they’re going to win Champions League.’ It’s practically impossible to do.

“Real Madrid proved that many years ago, get the best players in the world and you think you’ll win it. It doesn’t happen that way, it’s much more about teamwork.”

Karim Benzema took advantage of PSG's weakness with three quick goals


Karim Benzema took advantage of PSG’s weakness with three quick goalsPhoto credit: Getty
Rio Ferdinand blamed PSG's front three rather than the manager


Rio Ferdinand blamed PSG’s front three rather than the managerCredit: PA Messi, Mbappe and Neymar’s ‘massive egos’ are to blame for PSG’s defeat by Real Madrid, says Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand


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