Football

Rio Ferdinand: Mauricio Pochettino not to blame for PSG’s Champions League exit

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says Mauricio Pochettino and believes is not to blame for Paris Saint-Germain’s latest exit from the Champions League.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says Mauricio Pochettino and believes is not to blame for Paris Saint-Germain’s latest exit from the Champions League.

A 17-minute second-half hat-trick from Karim Benzema saw Real Madrid overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg to beat PSG 3-1 on aggregate and advance into the quarterfinals.

It means PSG’s quest for a maiden Champions League title will go on for at least another season, with their appearance in the 2020 final against eventual winners Bayern Munich still their best finish.

Pochettino however is facing the sack following their implosion at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Le Parisien reporting he and sporting director Leonardo will both pay the price for the defeat.

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This week however marked the five-year anniversary of PSG losing 6-1 to Barcelona having led 4-0 from the first leg under Unai Emery, just one of the examples under previous managers of the French giants capitulating in Europe.

And Ferdinand therefore believes Pochettino cannot be blamed given their recent history in the competition.

Asked whether criticism of the former Tottenham boss was fair, 2008 Champions League winner Ferdinand told BT Sport: “I don’t think so given the history at PSG.

“Many managers have been there now and won the league and failed in the Champions League.

“We saw today how the team folded, and this isn’t just a one season episode, this is something that continually happens every single year where you go, ”do you know what, PSG with the talent they’ve got, especially in attacking areas, with the experience that they’ve got, an array of international big players they’ve got, they’re gonna have a chance of winning it”.

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“And they fall at the quarter-final, semi-final hurdles, they’ve lost in the final. This is something that just happens. [It is a] dysfunctional team, I think that sums it up quite well about the way that they play.

“So I don’t think you can really point the finger too much at Pochettino when this has happened season after season.”

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