Rio Ferdinand has declared that PSG cannot allow Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to shirk all defensive responsibilities if they are to win the ‘big trophies’ this season.
The French giants were beaten 2-1 by Manchester City in their Champions League group game this week, despite taking the lead through Mbappe.
The result means they will not finish top of their group and so face a potentially tougher draw in the last 16.
Much has been made of Messi’s start to life in Paris, with the Argentinian icon having only scored four goals for the club so far.
His ability to link up with PSG’s two other superstar attackers – Mbappe and Neymar – has also been greatly analysed.
However, after the defeat in Manchester, Ferdinand looked at the trio from a different perspective.
Rio says Neymar, Messi, and Mbappe’s lack of defensive effort means PSG wont win the #ucl 👀 #psg #neymar #messi #mbappe #championsleague #football
♬ she knows – favsoundds
The Manchester United legend showed a passage of play in which City started an attack against PSG.
Mauricio Pochettino’s defenders and midfielders of course tracked back into their own half to try and address the issue.
But not one of his three attackers were anywhere to be seen.
Ferdinand highlighted as Messi, Neymar and Mbappe all jogged back to the halfway line and stayed there rather than helping out with the defensive effort.
He said on BT Sport: “I’ve never, ever in my life played in a game where I’ve been one of these players here [highlights defender], I’ve never played in a game where I’ve seen that and allowed that [all three attackers staying up front].
“The best teams don’t allow that to happen. As great as these three are – and listen, you can’t deny it, the talent that these three have.
“But to win the big trophies, you cannot allow that to happen.
“Whether you’re a player or manager, you have to make more demands on people than that.”
Michael Owen added: “This is why I believe PSG won’t win – and can’t win – the Champions League.
“People have been saying for years and years PSG will win it, I’ve never had them.
“Just watch this, how easy it is for Manchester City to get out.
“There is not any – in these three players [Messi, Neymar and Mbappe] – there is not a will at all to run back. It’s walking, it’s jogging…
“There is no effort, no nothing to get back and you can’t be outnumbered like that against big teams.”