Eurosport interview: Jimmy Algerino on PSG-Juventus 1997 (1-6): “Del Piero had been almost unplayable”

Eurosport interview: Jimmy Algerino on PSG-Juventus 1997 (1-6): "Del Piero had been almost unplayable"

Jimmy Algerino, how do you explain the defeat of PSG against Juventus Turin (1-6) at the Parc des Princes in the European Super Cup twenty-five years later?

Jimmy Algerino. : “In front of us, there was a very, very big team. That evening, the pitch was very hard because of the cold. We started this match with confidence, equal to equal with Juventus. We felt strong compared to our title in C2 the season before but we were surprised. Our start to the game was catastrophic, we lost 0-4 at halftime. Juventus had just won the Champions League while having a plethoric and perfectly oiled workforce.

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PSG also had a very good squad (note: Rai, llamaetc…) and was second in the French championship in January 1997. What did you miss that evening?

JA : “We made far too many individual and collective errors to really measure up to Juventus. We did better in the second leg (note: 1-3 defeat) but the context was completely different. Paris had played a semi-final in the Champions League two years earlier and felt at the same level as Juventus. In addition, we were at the Parc des Princes. But this feeling of confidence played tricks on us.”

You arrived the previous summer at PSG (from Châteauroux). How did you experience this meeting on a personal level?

JA : “It was a double penalty for me. I had the chance to play this meeting except that after about thirty minutes, I locked my knee. I had to leave my partners and Ricardo m “I wanted a little. He would have preferred that I grit my teeth and stay on the pitch. However, as the son of an Italian immigrant, I approached this match with a lot of desire. It was a gala match plus Ricardo trusted me.”

Didier Deschamps, I found him very solid in this Turin midfield. Zinedine Zidane was a bit more shy

Which Turin player impressed you the most on the pitch?

JA : “Alessandro Del Piero. There was also this midfielder with Didier Deschamps, Angelo Di Livio, Alessio Tacchinardi and Zinédine Zidane but also Angelo Peruzzi in goal. In this team, there were a lot of technical, physical and athletic qualities “I entered the match with the idea of ​​marking Alessandro Del Piero because he was playing on my side. The commitment was important from the start of the match to mark our territory. But he was not let down and impress, on the contrary even. He responded blow for blow. In terms of ball capture, he was very fast and oriented his balls effectively. He was almost unplayable and pushed us to defend by moving back. In this match and during this period- there he was way above Zidane, who had just arrived but reached this level of excellence afterwards.”

What memories do you keep of the performance of Zinédine Zidane and Didier Deschamps?

JA : “Didier Deschamps, I had found him very solid in this midfield, especially in recovering the ball. He had also been very efficient in positioning and his movements. At his side, Angelo Di Livio had a rather impressive volume For his part, Zinedine Zidane was a bit more timid.Marcelo Lippi had put together a very coherent tactical plan, with Michele Padovano at the finish.They had hindered and pushed us a lot.We didn’t expect to lose from this way.”

How had Ricardo reacted after this heavy defeat?

JA : “I don’t have many memories of his reaction but me personally, I had made myself very small compared to my performance and my injury. Afterwards, Ricardo was not the type to vociferate after the matches. Juventus had simply been stronger than us. But we had felt a lot of disappointment losing this gala match in front of our home crowd without having really fought to be equal. Our preparation for this match had not been optimal because we were gone to Mauritius.

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Did this disillusion have a negative effect on your end of the season?

JA : “No because behind we are playing a European Cup final (note: C2) against Barcelona (0-1). We lost on a penalty from Ronaldo. On the ground, our performance had been rather interesting. In the league, we finished second after having been first for part of the season. Afterwards personally, it had an impact on me a little because I played in L2 the previous season and I came out injured from this meeting.

Is this PSG-Juventus the worst match of your career in the Parisian jersey?

JA : “There is this match and the trip to Sedan (5-1) in 2000 which caused the dismissal of Philippe Bergeroo. The C1 meeting in La Coruna in 2001 (note: PSG led 3-0 and had lost 3-4)? Before this trip, I had been kicked out of the first team for a month by Luis Fernandez. It may be a bit selfish, but individually I had a very interesting match at Riazor where I I had delivered two assists to Laurent Leroy. Personally, I had not experienced any shipwreck. In addition, I went directly from N2 to C1. On the other hand, against Juventus four years earlier, it was almost a shipwreck from start to finish. Besides, I had replayed against Juventus when I played in Serie A with Venice in 2001. Again, it’s a bad memory because we lost 4-0.

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