Pedro Miguel Pauleta on PSG-OM: “My lob against Barthez? A moment I’ll never forget”

Pedro Miguel Pauleta, looking back on your years in Paris, what are your memories of the PSG-OM Classics?

Pedro Miguel Pauleta : “I have great memories of it. It’s a very special game for French football, but also for fans of both teams. I had the chance to play a lot of games against OM and score a lot of goals (note: five in L1 and one in Coupe de France). I scored two goals in my first game against Marseille at Parc 2004. I only have good memories.”

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Did the idea of ​​playing one of Europe’s biggest names help you decide to join PSG in the summer of 2003?

P.M.P. : “The very idea was to play in a big club. In my first season, it worked well with this great team from Paris Saint-Germain, who finished second, three points behind Lyon. Before signing the President Francis Graille and Vahid Halilhodzic wanted to link me to Ronaldinho. But just before my arrival I was told that he was going to Barcelona. For me, PSG is still a special club. I spent five years there and won two French Cups there (2004 and 2006). And a League Cup (2008). I also had some difficult years, especially last season.”

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You were a real surface fox. Was your desire for goals even greater when the games against Marseille started?

P.M.P. : “Everyone on the team was super motivated to play these games. Personally, I had a lot of chances to score against OM and that gave me a lot of confidence, as did the fans, who expected a lot from me during this classic. In training, during match week, my partners said to me: ‘This is Marseille, we’re counting on you Pedro’.”

You played and won your first Classic at the Vélodrome in November 2003. They are the origin of Fabrice Fiorèse’s goal (1-0) after a shot blocked by Vedran Runje…

P.M.P. : “I don’t have many memories of this game. The atmosphere was difficult for us over there. From the Vélodrome, I particularly remember our Coupe de France round of 16 in 2004, when I scored a goal that allowed us After that, I particularly remember those games that were played at the Parc des Princes in 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. “

Is the lob you get on the goal line and outside the box against Fabien Barthez your best memory against Marseille (2-1)?

P.M.P. : “Yes, I think so. It’s a goal. Besides, it was in front of all our fans. Paris deserved a goal like that. I scored in the second half too, but everyone remembers the first goal best.”

Tell us how you experienced this mythical destination from the inside?

P.M.P. : “At the beginning there is a good through ball from Juan-Pablo Sorin. I see Fabien (Barthez) coming out and I’m concentrating on the left because we were very close. I’m trying to get the ball back as quickly as possible because I knew it wasn’t on his line. Then I hit the gate. It was very difficult to set. I was a bit lucky because the ball touched the bar slightly and grazed against the Marseille defender who was on the line (NB: Brahimhemdani). It was a perfect gesture.”

Does the fact that Fabien Barthez faces him make the goal even nicer?

P.M.P. : “Yes, that’s for sure. Often when I scored against Marseille, he was in goal. He was certainly the best goalkeeper back then. He was world and European champion. It is true that it attached greater importance to this goal.

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That goal stuck in the memories of PSG supporters almost twenty years later…

P.M.P. : “When I score, the feeling is unique. I had the opportunity to experience such moments with PSG. Just scoring a goal at the Parc des Princes is something special, something different. There, at a classic, it’s a moment that’s that I’ll never forget. I will remember those moments until the end.”

During PSG-OM in autumn 2004 (2-1), Paris were quickly reduced to ten after a red card from Sylvain Armand. But you open the gate with a goal from outside the box. Did being outnumbered mean that you took on even more responsibility that day?

P.M.P. : “Back then I had this responsibility to make a difference. My team expected a lot from me. I scored a lot of goals. I remember that Fabrice Pancrate’s pass was the origin of the action. Also, it was a good shot, a great one Goal. A goal as difficult to score as the one mentioned above.”

Pedro Miguel Pauleta in a duel with former Marseille defender Habib Beye.

Photo credit: Imago

The context was very tense that day in the Parc des Princes with the return of Fabrice Fiorèse in the colors of Marseille…

P.M.P. : “There was Fred (Déhu) too. It was their first game at the Parc des Princes since they left OM. I remember the fans were very angry, especially when Fabrice Fiorèse took corner kicks the year before, he had “Had a very good season with us. It’s a shame he left, everyone wanted him to stay here. I think he and Fred had a very difficult time. That day.”

The following season you were banned for the game at the Vélodrome (lost 1-0) when the PSG team discovered ammonia in their dressing room. On the other hand, in March 2006, you were on the pitch to host the Minots (0-0)…

P.M.P. : “It was a difficult game. After that, Marseille didn’t only send young people. On the field, some players had already become professionals. The game was complicated because we had the feeling that it wasn’t the real classic. The atmosphere in The stadium was different. Fortunately, a few weeks later we managed to beat Marseille (2-1) in the Coupe de France final. I was the captain and I lifted the trophy at the Stade de France, it was a very special moment.”

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During these encounters against OM, which opponent gave you the most trouble on the pitch?

P.M.P. : “Fred (Déhu), it was always very difficult against him with his experience and his qualities, and Daniel Van Buyten was physically very strong.”

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Is the home defeat against OM in September 2006 (1:3) your worst memory?

P.M.P. : “I don’t remember losing to Marseille (note: there were actually two defeats in L1: 1-3 at the Parc des Princes in 2006 and 1-2 at the Vélodrome in 2008). For me, one of my worst memories is the 0-0 draw in March 2006.

Alain Cayzac said he was thinking of you as Paul Le Guen’s successor as manager in the 2007/08 season. Could this have interested you?

P.M.P. : “It’s true that we talked about it at the end of the championship, but I didn’t want to be a coach. I immediately declined. I wanted to play.”

What does PSG mean to you 14 years after your departure?

P.M.P. : “It’s a special club that I love. I love the fans. We have a good relationship. We continue to work with the club. I’m proud to have played for PSG for five years.”

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