Having made his departure from Paris Saint-Germain permanent in the final hours of the January transfer window, Ander Herrera has definitively closed a chapter of his career that saw him spend three seasons in the French capital and win two Ligue 1 titles.
Although the Spaniard was part of a team that reached the Champions League final in his first season, European success has mostly continued to elude the Parisians. This season, while Herrera himself was initially on loan back at Athletic Bilbao, Christophe Galtier’s men faltered to second place in the group stages before crashing out to Bayern Munich in their first knock-out clash.
In an interview with beIN Sports, the former Manchester United man notably responded to Lionel Messi’s recent suspension for an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, and has backed the World Cup winner, who looks set to leave the club at the end of the season in any case:
“I admired him before knowing him, and I admire him even more after meeting him, as a person and as a footballer. I understand that PSG is a club that doesn’t have a lot of patience, there’s an obsession with winning the Champions League that doesn’t help. I think it’s the only club in the world where, if they don’t win the Champions League, it’s a failure.”
“All the other teams can have good seasons without winning it, like Barcelona for example. But in Paris there isn’t that patience and calmness, even though things take time. I was very close to winning it, one goal separated me from winning the Champions League with PSG. It’s true that there’s an obsession, and in the end who pays for it? The best players, they are the ones who receive criticism.”
GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin