Rivaldo Exclusive: Pochettino and PSG appear to be a good fit

  • Rivaldo
  • 5:00 min read
Pochettino will attempt to win PSG's first Champions League

"Pochettino has the required qualities to strengthen the team and take PSG closer to their biggest goal, which is claim their first Champions League trophy. That's the reason why Leonardo signed him."

Betfair Ambassador Rivaldo discusses Pochettino's arrival at PSG, Diego Costa's potential return to the Premier League and the latest from his beloved Barcelona.

I think that PSG have made a very good decision by bringing in Mauricio Pochettino to replace Thomas Tuchel. After all, the Argentinian played for PSG and certainly has a good knowledge about French football. As an Argentinian, Pochettino may find some chemistry with players such as Di Maria, Icardi and Neymar.

Pochettino has the required qualities to strengthen the team and take PSG closer to their biggest goal, which is claim their first Champions League trophy. That's the reason why Leonardo signed him.

Diego Costa returning to Premier League would be a wise decision

I'm a fan of Costa's qualities as a goal scorer, who has scored regularly for any club he has played for.

Leaving Atletico Madrid looks like the right move since he wasn't playing and the rumours about a potential return to England could be a good option for him.

Signing for a team like Wolves would allow him to get back to a country in which he left his mark with Chelsea. In the final phase of his career, signing for a Premier League club like Wolves will give him the chance to play more regularly and at the same time preserve a good financial situation.

A pleasure to change shirts with Sergio Ramos

There were many rumours about my shirt offer to Sergio Ramos last week, but the explanation is very simple.

We chatted a few months ago after I publish a picture of me playing against him when I was at Olympiakos, and after that chat we agreed to change shirts, which I consider normal.

We admire each other, and this is normal stuff in football which has nothing to do with rivalries.

He is an excellent defender - one of the best in the world - and the fact that he plays for Real Madrid doesn't change my opinion of him.

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His career at Real Madrid might be coming to an end...

He is currently free to sign for another club at the end of the season and after over 15 years playing for Los Blancos, I believe he might consider the opportunity to embrace a new challenge.

Furthermore, the club is looking to reduce a player's salary due to the COVID-19 crisis and that could also favour his decision to leave from a financial point of view, since he has big clubs like PSG interested.

He has built a remarkable history with Real Madrid and he will no doubt be recognised for it. Both the fans and board should understand his decision, after all, he always gave everything for the club and has nothing else to prove.

Yet, the club may feel if he decides to leave it could have a huge impact on the squad, just like when Cristiano Ronaldo left, but as I like to say, players come and go, but the club remains and will always be reinvented and continue their path through history, and at Real Madrid it won't be any different.

Barça are improving, but major test is yet to come

Barcelona have won their last two La Liga matches and seem to be improving match after match. A major test is still to come, however, when they face PSG in the last 16 of the Champions League.

On that occasion, we will be able to see the team's current limits, as they'll face a big club who were the Champions League finalists last season. PSG will certainly cause a lot of problems to Barcelona.

Summing up, the season is still wide open, including La Liga, but what happens in that CL clash could be pivotal for Barca. If we manage to knock out PSG, the team will galvanize and could produce a strong end of campaign, but if they fail on that, the group may become demoralised for the remaining competitions. It would be their biggest test of the season.

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Pedri is Barça's future, but he needs time

Pedri is only 18 years-old and it would be rash to start putting too much pressure on him, even though the squad has more experienced players to take on the responsibility and should step forward.

He simply needs to continue his good work, developing and learning to become one of the great players at the club in the near future. His great qualities are undeniable and there are already rumours that he might be part of Spain squad at Euro 2021, which only confirms he has great ability.

But he is very young, and Barcelona should be careful to not put the spotlight on him too soon. He needs to continue improving his game and then perform on the bigger stages other than La Liga, such as the Champions League.

It may well be Messi's last season at the club, so he could have more chances to take responsibilities next season, but for now I would suggest that he just needs to continue his normal process and play his football every time he is called upon by Ronald Koeman.

Messi returning to his best form

Lionel Messi has started 2021 very strongly with great performances, goals and assists as we are all used to seeing.

It's important for him and the club to maintain their relationship, as he might be ending his time as a Barcelona player. We still don't know if he will renew his contract, but at least we are watching him play near his best again, which indicates he should keep playing at the highest level for at least 2-3 more seasons. We must appreciate the pleasure of watching him perform such magnificent football.

Anyway, it's important to note that even when Messi isn't playing at his best, he still continues to be the best player at Barcelona, which magnifies his quality and importance to the club.


Palmeiras with good chance of lifting Libertadores trophy

Palmeiras are well placed to fight for the CONMEBOL Libertadores title after a fantastic win by 3-0 in Argentina against River Plate.

The club has a strong squad, is playing well in all competitions and took a giant step into the Libertadores final, but they must not relax as there is still 90 minutes to play and on River Plate are a very good team with lots of experience and a good manager that guided them to many finals in recent years, so they must keep highly focused on 2nd leg.

As I've mentioned before, playing at home has lost importance without fans in the stands and Abel Ferreira's team must be alert and avoid opening the door to a River comeback.

Playing for a draw or a loss by one or two goals is a good margin, but they need to respect a very powerful opponent and take nothing for granted.

Santos keep defying the odds

We all know that Santos are a big team with great tradition in the Libertadores but many have doubted about their chances of fighting for the title.

However, Santos have been playing so well and their draw at La Bombonera will bring great confidence for Vila Belmiro.

I think Santos should have had an even better result in Argentina if the referee had pointed to the spot after Marinho was tripped in the box in the second half. Perhaps because the match was in Argentina the referee preferred to ignore that situation, which shouldn't happen since there was a VAR help to use if needed.

To decide the qualification at home is an advantage, but not as big as it could be if they had their fans in the stands, but it remains as a slight edge for Santos, who have a good chance to reach the Libertadores final this season.

FIFA's site with unforgivable mistake

FIFA's site posted a Corinthians image instead of Palmeiras on their CONMEBOL Libertadores semi-finals presentations and that's such a big mistake that probably reflects that someone working the site has no knowledge about football.

I do not think this happened because of some Brazilian football unknowing, but because someone has no football knowledge at all. I think that someone responsible for the site committed a great mistake because of their football ignorance, so, it's normal that we had many complaints about FIFA and the fact they may have hired someone without the necessary skills to work in such role.

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