Marco Asensio believes he “has a lot to offer” to Paris Saint-Germain in their latest bid for a maiden Champions League title, having previously lifted the trophy three times with Real Madrid.
The 28-year-old joined PSG on a free transfer from Madrid in the summer but missed more than two months of action with a foot injury.
However, he has been a regular since the winter break, starting the last three Ligue 1 matches and scoring twice.
PSG host Real Sociedad in their Champions League last 16 first leg on Wednesday, hoping to avoid a third straight exit from the competition in the first knockout round.
Asensio knows what it takes to go all the way, having won the title in 2017, 2018 and 2022 with Real, scoring in the final seven years ago against Juventus.
“My football, my experience and my leadership,” he told AFP when asked what he offers to a young PSG squad rebuilding after the departures of Lionel Messi and Neymar.
“I’ve been in the world of football for a long time, I’ve had my share of success and I believe I have a lot to offer.
“I can be an example and a source of inspiration for the young players at the club.”
PSG are still waiting to lift the European Cup for the first time despite reaching the knockout stages in 12 consecutive seasons under their Qatari owners.
The top three of Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe could not deliver the trophy.
Asensio was one of 13 new signings last season, along with fellow players Goncalo Ramos, Radal Kolo Muani, Ousmane Dembele and Lee Kang-in.
The Spain international is confident that the new side, under new coach Luis Enrique, can compete in the latter stages of Europe’s biggest club competition.
“With the club, the staff and the players, we are on the right track, united and I believe we will achieve great things,” he added.
“We are all doing well and we are very ambitious. We have already won a title (the Champions Trophy) and soon, in a very short time, the league, the French Cup and the Champions League, all three very important, will be decided .
“We intend to win all the competitions we compete in.”
Former Spain and Barcelona coach Luis Enrique took over before the start of the season and PSG have steadily improved after a slow start to the season.
The French champions look set to defend their title comfortably, 11 points clear of second-placed Nice at the top of the table.
PSG qualified for their Champions League group as runners-up behind Borussia Dortmund and are unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions after losing to AC Milan in November.
“The relationship is good,” Asensio said of playing under his former Spain boss Luis Enrique.
“Having worked with him for the national team, I already knew his working method, what he expects from the team and what he asks from each player.
“He’s a very demanding coach and to be honest one of the best I’ve ever had, in terms of his discipline and professionalism, his standards towards himself and towards us.”
PSG avoided Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Manchester City, who have eliminated them in the past three seasons, in the last 16, despite failing to win Group F.
But Asensio warned his teammates to avoid complacency against Real Sociedad, who have not reached the quarter-finals since 1983.
“The matches will be difficult,” Asensio said. “La Real is a team I know well, they play very good football, very efficient…
“It will be a tricky two-legged tie but we will do our best to try and beat them and qualify.”
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