Saint-Germain signed Messi on a free transfer from Barcelona to form a strong attacking line with the presence of Frenchman Kylian Mbappe and Brazilian Neymar, but the trio did not show their best so far.
“We are not a team yet. The club brought in many players this summer and there are some big names, but we have not turned into a team,” Pochettino told a news conference on Tuesday, before facing Club Brugge in the opening rounds of Group A.
He added, “We are a group of players that need to achieve good results. There is a feeling that Saint Germain and Chelsea are the strongest, but Chelsea is the defending champion, so it will be the team that must be defeated, especially after strengthening its squad.”
Captain Marquinhos said there was no “extra pressure” to win the Champions League after Messi joined for two years alongside former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and midfielder Jorginho Wijnaldum from Liverpool.
“We deal with pressure every season, especially when playing for PSG, and this is part of the game. Because of the squad we have, the talk will increase, and we are happy to have this group of players, but there is no extra pressure, only positive things.”
Saint-Germain qualified for the semi-finals last season and was the runner-up in 2020, but he never won the title.
Pochettino said that he had not yet determined the fate of the participation of Mbappe, Neymar and Messi, who played only half an hour with his new team in Bruges, indicating that he would make the decision after training today, Tuesday.
And in the case of the three sharing together; Marquinhos emphasized that there were no concerns about how to defend.
“If the three play up front, they have experience and know that we need to defend collectively and the defense must press from the top to make them in the best conditions to attack,” he explained.
The Argentine coach has many options in attack, but perhaps the most important thing is that he chooses between Keylor Navas and Gianluigi Donnarumma in goalkeeping, after the arrival of the Italian goalkeeper, who led his country to the European Championship.
Marquinhos continued, “We will make decisions game by game and I think this is more fair and we are happy to have the two goalkeepers in our squad. The season is long and the club will benefit from them and every player knows that when signing with Saint-Germain.”