No, football players are not millionaires disconnected from the universe around them.
Christophe Galtier insisted on taking off this label from the jersey of his proteges this Thursday in Paris, during an intervention at the “Demain le sport” festival.
"Don't think that the players are off the ground and in a bubble," replied the PSG coach to a question about the place he gave to general culture and good citizenship in his way of managing his footballers.
"They inform themselves, they are aware of what is happening in the world," insisted the technician, two weeks after the controversy surrounding the team's air travel.
PSG, Galtier and Kylian Mbappé found themselves under fire from criticism after the offhand reactions of the technician and his player, at a press conference, to a question about the club's trip by plane to Nantes, a short destination for which less polluting alternatives, such as the train, exist.
"It's not the image at all [sometimes conveyed], what you don't know is that they are very generous, they defend noble causes", assured Galtier.
"They are very cultured, especially since in the locker room they come across different nationalities, they are interested in what is happening in Spain, South America, Africa, the Maghreb, in Eastern countries... he continued.
"Much more mature than other young people"
For the former coach of Nice and Lille, footballers "are much more mature than other young people, they are faced with reality, already with that of the competition".
"The players at PSG have to beat three teams every week, and be better than their partners, they have faced competition since they were 13, 14 years old," he insisted.
“We have the image of the irresponsible footballer, it is false.
Very young, they are often already married, already dads, they have family responsibilities, also brothers or little boys and enormous daily pressure”.
At the start of his intervention in studio 104 of the Maison de la Radio, Galtier was briefly interrupted by two activists in the fight against global warming shouting: “Climate in danger, Galtier accomplice”.
This was an allusion to his phrase on "sailing tanks" and the controversy that followed.
The coach then made his mea culpa saying he regretted “a joke that is in bad taste”.
Galtier defends himself again
"Don't confuse perhaps misplaced humor with respect for the planet," Galtier replied again.
“I am very careful, I have just made a round trip by train to see my son who was having surgery”.
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PSG: “A poor quality joke”… Christophe Galtier makes his mea culpa after the “sand yacht” controversy