Monday, January 23, 2017

Zidane was great, but I only had eyes for Riquelme – Pastore

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Oct 2015

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Paris Saint-Germain’s Javier Pastore has spoken of the influence that Zinedine Zidane and Juan Roman Riquelme have had in shaping his style of play.

The Argentine provided the second highest number of assists in Ligue 1 last season with 12, a number bettered only by former Marseille man Dimitri Payet.

It is an aspect of the game that the 26-year-old, who looked to the likes of Zidane and Riquelme for inspiration as a youngster, takes immense pride in.

However, it is his compatriot that he seeks to emulate more than the former France international.

“I have always worshipped playmakers. The elegance of Zidane influenced me a lot, but, when I was small, I only had eyes for Riquelme,” Pastore told Le Journal du Dimanche.

“I watched with my eyes glued to the television screen the relationship he created with his striker.

“Through him, I discovered the gesture I love the most: the pass. He was an idol in South America.

“He revived the role of the central playmaker. I am very far from his influence on the game. I long to get as close as possible.”

Despite an impressive 2014-15 at the Parc des Princes, Pastore has started just five of PSG’s nine Ligue 1 fixtures this season.

He admitted to being disappointed at seeing his role in the side reduced, but feels that improving on his tally of five league goals last season could be the key to his return.

“I do not understand but I have to accept it and work more to convince him to bring me back into the starting line-up for the Champions League,” Pastore added.

“I’m in Paris to participate in big events, so hopefully I will start against Real Madrid [on October 21].

“My statistics are satisfactory but I have to score more. In the last three league games I made three assists, but the coach still put me on the bench against [Shakhtar] Donetsk.”

The Argentine’s ultimate goal, however, is to enjoy success on the highest continental stage with PSG.

“It would be a stain on my career here not to lift the Champions League,” Pastore said.

“The club has done everything to provide the means.”

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