Marquinhos is enjoying the "positive responsibility" of captaining Paris Saint-Germain after taking over from Thiago Silva this season, the Brazil international has told This is Paris on BeIN Sports.
When Thiago Silva ended his eight-year association with the Ligue 1 Uber Eats champions, his fellow Brazilian was the obvious choice to take on the captain's armband, something he had already done in his compatriot's absence on previous occasions.
"I feel proud that I've been given this responsibility. Everybody knows that the captain has a very important role, so the fact I have been given the armband means that I've worked hard and I deserve it. That is why I'm so proud to be the captain of this team. As captain, you have this added responsibility, you have to think about what's best for the team, both on and off the pitch. There are a lot of things to look after. But it's all positive responsibility, and I like it," explained the 26-year-old, who is now in his eighth season in the French capital.
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"I am a captain who leads by example, I try to get the team to follow my lead. Personally, I think that's the way a captain and a leader should act. He shouldn't just point players in the right direction and say 'Go on guys'. He has to show how to do it, he has to operate as a guide for the team. I do my utmost both on and off the pitch to set the right example. I try to be humble and to work hard every morning, every day. I give everything in games and in training to show the young players – and also the more experienced guys – that we can learn from each other and also have a laugh with each other."
Marquinhos, who recently won his 50th cap for his country, is not alone in a PSG dressing room chock-full of players with leadership qualities, and he is fully aware of the need to share the responsibility.
"'Presko' is our second captain. We saw Kimpembe wearing the armband in many games last season, and also this season. He also behaves like a leader, both on the pitch and in the dressing room.
"We have Kylian and Ney, who are technical leaders, they are also leaders in the dressing room. But they can't do it all on their own. I'm the captain, but I can't do anything on my own either. To be a good team and to achieve great things, you need everybody to work together."
The armband is not the only change Marquinhos has undergone in recent months on the pitch. Having started his PSG career at right-back and then central defence, his technical ability has convinced coach Thomas Tuchel 'Marqui' can be a major asset to the side when played in a defensive midfield role.
He featured in that position during PSG's run to the UEFA Champions League final last season, and has played in front of the back four — rather than in it — in most of his seven league appearances so far in 2020/21.
"It's true that originally I'm a defender, now I have a coach who wants me to play a lot in midfield and who likes me when I play there. He likes what I do for the team when I'm in midfield. I have no problem playing in midfield. I'm used to it, I like it, I enjoy it," explained the ex-Roma man.
"If your boss tells you to do something, he likes how you do it, you're going to do it with great pleasure. He talked to me a lot, he explained a lot about what he thinks, what he wants me to do, why he puts me there. We talked a lot, he also talked with all the other players. And that's it, it's his choice and we try to do our best."
Though PSG have struggled in the UEFA Champions League so far this season, Tuchel's men have begun to look formidable in Ligue 1 Uber Eats, and — prior to Friday's trip to Monaco — have won their last five league games by a margin of three goals or more to build a five-point lead at the top of the table.
"We know that there is a lot of pressure on us. There are a lot of people talking about Paris Saint-Germain, talking about the way we play. We always have to focus on ourselves," said Marquinhos.
"Maybe it's not our best period or the best games we play, but we win and that's what's most important in football. We mustn't listen too much to the outside. Inside we have to know where we have to go, take the right things and positive things to improve and continue like that for the future."