The press conference introducing Luis Enrique as the new head coach of the first squad was the first significant event at Paris Saint-Germain’s new training facility in Poissy this afternoon.
The Spaniard takes over for Christophe Galtier, whose departure was announced this morning following a decision to terminate his two-year contract early after just one season in command.
The 53-year-old finally took the stage after a two-hour wait during which the on-site journalists were given a tour of the training center’s amenities.
In his opening remarks, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who arrived late due to a delayed flight, welcomed Luis Enrique and thanked all of Galtier, Lionel Messi, and Sergio Ramos for their time spent with the team. The former Barcelona manager gave a brief introduction in French before switching to Spanish, though he promised he would pick up the local tongue soon enough.
Al-Khelaifi and the new manager both emphasized the value of offensive football, perhaps in an effort to distance themselves from the former coach’s heavily criticized approach to play. The latter also made clear his goal to offer young players opportunities.
“An attacking identity is non-negotiable. It’s my philosophy. You have to adapt to your players, my job is to get the best out of my players both individually and collectively.”
When asked about the potential pressure of winning PSG’s first Champions League title, the coach was buoyant: “I love the pressure. Just because our rivals have more experience, it doesn’t mean we can’t compete with them. The Champions League is an objective for us. Being ambitious in life is a good thing. We want to get the best out of the team – it’ll be a challenge, but I’m happy to take it on.”