Newcastle: “They’re the fourth hat team that no one wanted (in the Champions League draw). It's a very high level team, with players who have class with the ball but who are also very aggressive without the ball. It’s a very complete team. We will also have to deal with a big atmosphere at St-James' Park…”
Ousmane Dembélé: “He is an extraordinary talent, he is very good so far, he is able to play on both sides but also in the middle. He has mostly been on the right so far. He creates a lot of danger, he is very fast and he will score goals during the season, make even more assists. He is progressing well but he still has room to do better.”
His memories of St-James' Park and Newcastle as a player, with Barça, in 1997: "26 years is a long time ago... It's the last time that Newcastle played in C1 (in 2003 in fact, Editor’s note)? I remember the atmosphere and strong players, like today. I scored but we lost 3-2 and it was a complicated evening.”
Kylian Mbappé: “Fully operational? Yes."
Manuel Ugarte not used in Clermont (0-0) last Saturday: “It’s teamwork, not all the players can play all the matches, impossible. We can't predict the result before the match either... Afterwards, it's always easy to say that Ugarte should have played... All the players have to do the job. I decide who the 11 should start. But it is above all the 23 players in the group who must contribute to the team’s confidence and the result.”
Gianluigi Donnarumma and the kicking game: “All the goalkeepers in the world would be under pressure from a team that presses as much as Newcastle, not just Gigio Donnarumma. It’s something we work on all week. Tomorrow (Wednesday), we will try to play with our identity and our philosophy.
Newcastle's lack of European experience in recent years: “The important thing in the Champions League is not consistency. There is the group stage, but after that, it's unpredictable. All teams, including Newcastle, can go far. They are a very strong team, no one wanted them in the fourth hat. They did well last season, they’re a fantastic team. There will be a very hostile atmosphere, impressive too. I am jealous of my players who will develop in these conditions. I’m looking forward to this match, it will be an extraordinary meeting.”
Comments collected at a press conference