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Paris Saint-Germain captain Marquinhos continued to score goals this weekend as he scored the second in a 2-1 win over RC Lens in a fiery Ligue 1 clash that keeps the men going by Mauricio Pochettino in the title race
The Brazil international was also on the right track in Wednesday’s 2-1 UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg defeat against Manchester City at Parc des Princes, a goal he chased after trying to ” inspire teammates to a result that will overcome them two away goals conceded at low cost on Tuesday at Etihad Stadium (as always, the game is available on Paramount)
“We need character,” Marquinhos said after the final whistle in Paris “Anyone who doesn’t believe shouldn’t bother to come A warrior mentality is needed to reach the next round We are close and we must not doubt ourselves We have what it takes to turn the situation around We just need to believe “
The 26-year-old took over as a full-time skipper when Thiago Silva left PSG at the end of last season and he has lived a lot with the French giants during his time at the club, ranging from top of the final litter of last year at the bottom of the Remontada in Barcelona
However, having amassed 300 competitive appearances in a still fairly young career is starting to pay off for Les Parisiens, as Marquinhos is now approaching his prime with the kind of experience many veterans would envy.
In addition to his impressive rally in the PSG defense, the former AS Roma and Corinthians player is used to scoring crucial goals in the manner of Sergio Ramos In fact, since Marquinhos made his Champions League debut with PSG in 2013-14, he has scored nine goals in Europe’s biggest competition compared, including a three-game streak with a clinical finish at Munich, joining their recent pair headed either side in a brief stint on the sideline following an injury Ramos has ten for Real Madrid at this time, but once you factor in that two of Ramos’ goals were penalties, a duty that Marquinhos doesn’t have the advantage of taking, the Brazilian’s goal is actually more impressive than the man with the reputation as the world’s deadliest center-back
But it’s not only the volume of contributions that Marquinhos makes on the attacking side, it’s also that he lives up to the challenge Take into account his assist in the 4-2 victory over the Olympic Lyonnais and another goal in United’s 3-1 away win on his last visit to Manchester and it starts to paint a picture of a player with a taste for the biggest games
Indeed, last year’s quarter-final against Atalanta BC and semi-final with RB Leipzig also scored goals for the South American as PSG finally broke their Champions League curse to make it to the final for the first time in its history
History suggests that Marquinhos will be key again on Tuesday, but his passion alone will not be enough for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, as compatriot Neymar will also have to take over with fellow superstar Kylian Mbappe who seems more and more improbable are strongly characterized by a calf problem
The star center-back of the Ligue 1 champions is now the Brazilian who has played the most times in the history of the formation of the capital, which is no small feat in a club that has hosted Ronaldinho, Rai, Silva and Neymar the years
However, he will need Neymar and Angel Di Maria to combine the attack well and for Marco Verratti to dominate the midfielder like never before if PSG are to shift the focus of Guardiola’s dominant city on his land
Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez’s goals last week were gifts for Marquinhos and PSG, and they can’t afford to be so generous this time around if they want to make it to the final for the second consecutive edition
There has been a lot of debate about the normally flawless role of Keylor Navas and the absence of Abdou Diallo from the starting XI also destabilized the Parisian back line which should be stronger as it approaches.
Whatever the defensive combination, Marquinhos will be the key at the back alongside Presnel Kimpembe and the Sao Paulo man will not stop roaring his teammates from the first minute to the very last
If Pochettino’s troops find a way to deprive Guardiola’s hosts of the last place they dream of, then Marquinhos will likely play a leading role again in this effort as PSG again need a strong performance on the road
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Paris Saint-Germain FC, UEFA Champions League, France Ligue 1, Kylian Mbappé, Neymar
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