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Pochettino on Benzema: “It’s a major loss for Madrid”

The PSG manager spoke about Real Madrid in today’s press conference, and also provided an update on Neymar while explaining Mbappe’s best position

2022-02-06 Lille OSC v Paris Saint-Germain - Ligue 1 Uber Eats Photo by Geert van Erven/BSR Agency/Getty Images

PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino spoke to the press today ahead of his side’s clash with Rennes — the one game that remains for them before the Real Madrid match on Tuesday.

The Argentine spoke about Real Madrid, and in particular Karim Benzema.

“He’s a great player who is showing his talent at Real Madrid year after year,” Pochettino said of Benzema. “He’s a great player. If he’s not there, it’s a major loss for Madrid. I wouldn’t say it benefits Paris, but it’s clear he’s a top striker. In the analysis of the team, a lot is taken into account if Benzema plays or not.

“The best thing is to play a good game against Rennes, which is the only team that has beaten us this year. Football is emotional and playing a good game and winning is the best way to prepare for the game against Real Madrid.”

Pochettino also provided updates on Neymar, and answered a question on Kylian Mbappe’s best position.

“Neymar is improving, but he won’t be in the team tomorrow,” Pochettino explained. “We’ll see if he can be there against Real Madrid, that’s the idea. All the greats want to play in the big games. He already knows what it’s like to get to these games injured and he has the maturity to channel the energy and play in the best conditions when he is available.

“Kylian is a player who can play in any attacking position, he cannot be pigeonholed into one position. He has to be free to move and we like that. He has to feel free to give his best. We try to give him through our system for the team to find him, because he’s deadly right, left and center.”