“Nordi is more than an understudy”. Aware of the quality performance of his right side, Christophe Galtier was full of praise for Nordi Mukiélé on Wednesday evening after the success (2-0) of PSG against Angers. Author of two assists, one for Ekitiké, the other for Messi, the former defender of Leipzig did not hide his satisfaction after what looks like his best outing in the Parisian jersey.
After the setback in Lens, was it important to return to success in the league?
NORDI MUKIELE. We won the match 2-0 and we finished with a clean sheet, it’s very good for confidence. But we must already forget this match because an important meeting awaits us on Sunday in Rennes and we will also have to go and take three points there.
How do you feel on this right side?
I feel good, better than at the start, more liberated. But this is only the beginning. It’s up to me to reiterate the type of performance tonight. I am very happy. The team helps me, I touch more balls than at the start… I’m really happy to have managed to help the team. It’s up to me to continue.
How long has it been since you delivered two assists in the same match?
(He smiles). Since my last game with Leipzig. I am very happy to have helped the team. These are my first two assists in a match with Paris (Editor’s note: he had already provided Kylian Mbappé during the victory against Nice on October 1) and I’m happy because we won the match. But also because we end up with a clean sheet, after having taken three in Lens and one against Châteauroux. It’s never good for a defense.
You are growing in power. At this rate, you will put pressure on Achraf Hakimi…
I’m not focused on that. I try to make my matches no matter where I play, whether it’s in the axis or on the right. We all know that Achraf (Hakimi) is a very good player. I’m there to help the team, to play my matches when the coach needs me. Today I did it and I’m very happy.
We see that you do not hesitate to bring offensively. Are these the instructions of the coach or more an initiative that you like to take?
Today, we played on a different system with five defenders, so I had to bring offensively and also defensively. I managed to do it defensively and I’m very happy because from game to game, I’m taking a lot more confidence, a lot more risks and it showed tonight. The goal is to help my partners offensively. We know the qualities we have ahead. I try to bring what I can. In my head, the most important thing is to be good defensively, then if I can bring something like I did tonight, it’s a very good thing for the team.
How does it feel to provide an assist to Lionel Messi?
I’m happy to have made an assist for Leo especially since he has just returned from the World Cup. Giving him this decisive pass is a good thing for me but it won’t change much.
What does his return to the team change?
It’s always a pleasure to play with Leo. Today, he is world champion and we are all happy for him. I think he came back with a smile, even though he already had one before leaving. We are happy that he managed to score on his return, it’s a very good thing for him, but also for us.
Is it different now?
There, he is really world champion, that’s what he lacked. He managed to win this title, he is very happy. I’m happy for him. He came back to help us and we are going to need him given the matches that await us in the Champions League and in the league. I can feel it. He is happy, he was already before his departure for the World Cup, now he is even more happy because he won it. Having a happy Leo is a very good thing for Paris. I hope it will continue to be because it will help us throughout the season.
What does his presence change tactically for you?
We know very well that the opponent fears players of the caliber of Kylian, Ney or Leo… Today he helped us a lot, he finds passes that few can find. In addition, he scores and plays a good match. We are very happy to have recovered Leo.
Are you already thinking about the 1/8th final against Bayern on February 14?
Me no. We have a lot of league games until then. We have to focus on Ligue 1, even if the Champions League is also important for us. Bayern is in February, we have time to think about it. Today, it is the championship and the Coupe de France that concerns us. We will think of the Champions League when the time comes.
What goals have you set for this second half of the season from a personal point of view?
Already to be good at the position I will play, whether on the right or in the axis but also to help my teammates. On a personal level, the most important thing for me is to be good in every game. I hope to continue as I have been doing since the resumption of the championship.
You are officially fall champion, is it anecdotal or does it represent something?
It represents something especially that behind there are teams like Lens who hold us. It’s always good to be first but the most important thing is to be at the end.