from failed captain to newfound reliability… the timely return of Marquinhos

from failed captain to newfound reliability… the timely return of Marquinhos
from failed captain to newfound reliability… the timely return of Marquinhos

PSG hosts Dortmund this Tuesday at the Parc des Princes in the semi-final return leg of the Champions League (9 p.m. on RMC Sport 1). One of the most important matches in the history of the capital club, which will be able to count on the return to form of its captain Marquinhos, once again imperial in central defense.

He appeared out of nowhere to avoid the worst. And keep his people alive. While Signal Iduna Park was preparing to exult, Marquinhos broke away to block a strike from Julian Brandt at the last minute, last week, during the Champions League semi-final first leg between Dortmund and PSG (1 -0).

After a pass from Jadon Sancho between the legs of Lucas Beraldo, the Borussia attacking midfielder thought he had doubled the lead by adjusting Gianluigi Donnarumma in the area. But his attempt was saved at the last moment by the Parisian captain, author of a spectacular rescue. At the 84th. The kind of gesture Marquinhos is capable of when he is confident. And for several weeks, this has clearly been the case. Especially in C1.

After long months of doubt, feverish reminders and approximate exits, the warrior from Sao Paulo is back. At the best time for Paris. The Bernabeu nightmare finally seems to have been digested, two years after Karim Benzema’s stunning hat-trick with Real Madrid in the round of 16 second leg (3-1).

Despite the criticism, the disappointing performances and the questioning of his status, the Brazilian international (84 caps, 7 goals) never gave up. His teammates wanted him to remain captain at the start of the season (after two votes taken at the end of August at the training center). And he knew how to find the keys to respond once again present on the meadow…

After a checkered group stage against Dortmund, AC Milan and Newcastle, PSG gained momentum during the tough Champions League matches. And Marquinhos too.

Except for the round of 16 return at Real Sociedad (1-2), during which he remained on the bench (he was not at 100%), the Brazilian was there every time. By playing the entirety of the encounters, with the anger, the look and the grin of his best Parisian years. During the victory at Monjtuic against Barça, in the quarter-final return (1-4), the number 5 of the Rouge et Bleu stood out in particular with a decisive save in the area.

The most capped player in PSG history

An intervention that “Marqui” celebrated by screaming with both fists clenched, a bit like he did against these same Barcelona residents ten years ago, during a group match at the Parc des Princes (3-2) . Enough to confirm his return to the highest level under the orders of Luis Enrique. His rebirth comes as he makes history as PSG’s most capped player, ahead of Jean-Marc Pilorget.

A record for which he was honored after the draw against Le Havre on April 27 in Ligue 1 (3-3). With a tribute from its partners, a tour of the stadium and a speech in the middle of the pitch. The opportunity to make a promise to the Parisian public: that of winning the Champions League, eleven years after his arrival from AS Roma (31.4 million euros).

Marquinhos shows his “confidence” before returning to Dortmund

This will require overthrowing Dortmund this Tuesday in the semi-final return (9 p.m. on RMC Sport 1) and thus erasing the defeat in Rhur. This will be Marquinhos’ 441st match with PSG. One of the most important. Perhaps one of the most moving too. Despite the challenge, the 1.83m right-hander (under contract until 2028), who should play alongside Lucas Beraldo in the absence of Lucas Hernandez (injured knee), appeared calm in the conference before -match. Convinced that his team has the means to reach the final (June 1 at Wembley).

“We don’t know what will happen but the confidence comes from work and the serenity acquired throughout the season,” he explained. “It’s not linked to the result, it’s more to what we did in the preparation, what the supporters are going to do with energy in the stadium, in the city (…) The coach (Luis Enrique) insists a lot by saying that a match lasts 95 minutes, maybe 120 minutes. You have to be ready for the match emotionally and know what you have to do on the pitch, that’s what gives you confidence and calm. the team.” Like its found leader.

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