Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Giovani Lo Celso: An emerging star

Publish on 12/05/2018 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


In recent weeks, Giovani Lo Celso has emerged as one of Paris Saint-Germain's leading lights.

It is a status he confirmed when he opened the scoring in the Coupe de France final on Tuesday, when Paris beat Les Herbiers 2-0. The 22-year-old set the Parisians on their way to their latest Cup win, barely a month after scoring twice and being named man of the match in PSG's title-winning 7-1 victory over AS Monaco.

"Obviously it's a great joy to be able to score two goals in a decisive game and against a great rival like Monaco. It was also the match where we secured the championship so personally I was doubly happy and it was great to be able to help the team," Lo Celso told This Is Paris on beIN Sports.

It has been a long road travelled for the new Argentina international, who had to bide his time in the French capital before seizing his opportunity this term.

Lo Celso scores against Monaco as PSG clinch the title

"It has not been easy for me. When I arrived here, I had to get used to things, I took my first steps in Europe. Everything was new to me: arriving to Europe, a new culture...The team helped me a lot, they made me feel at home. From there I was able to train, keep improving and then I got the chance to prove myself, now I'm playing and trying to make the most of every opportunity."

The former Rosario Central starlet added: "When you're a kid you dream about this. Throughout life you have to make decisions. To be a footballer, you have to sacrifice a lot to do what you love. Like every job, it's very hard. You have good moments and others are not good at all. The important thing is to overcome the bad days and enjoy every moment: when you're on the pitch or at training. I'm lucky to be doing what I do and I'm very happy.

"I try to take every game very seriously. When it was my turn to play, I showed what I was capable of. I always try to show what I could do, that I was at home here. Match by match I try to demonstrate my talent and quality in order to play regularly."

Something new

This season Lo Celso has made 32 Ligue 1 appearances for Paris, more than any other outfield player. He has usually been part of a midfield three, something new for the diminutive South American.

"In Argentina I played in the classic number 10 position. In Europe that position is hardly used anymore and I had to adapt my game to a new position. Step by step I adapted my style and then I was able to play as a central midfielder. I'm happy playing in any position, always trying to help my team. Now I am playing more offensive. It's good, but no matter where I play, I am happy."

Before his goal scoring heroics against Monaco and Girondins de Bordeaux, Lo Celso had to wait for his first goal for Paris - he thought he'd scored it against SC Bastia last season, only for Marquinhos to take it away from him.

The brilliant goal against Lille that broke Lo Celso's Ligue 1 duck

"With Marquinhos we always remember that move. It was nearly my first goal for Paris, at the Parc des Princes...Now I know the feeling of scoring a goal there. He always tells me that he did not know if the ball was going in and that's why he made sure of it. The important thing is it was a goal and that we helped the team and we still laugh about it.

"In that match I also had a shot that hit the crossbar, it just didn't want to go in. But in the end I got my goal and the rest is history."

In the end, that first league goal finally arrived away to Lille, and what a goal it was.

"I was so happy to finally score that first goal in the league. I had the option to pass the ball to Neymar on the left. The defender was about to close me down, but he didn't, and I saw the goalkeeper off his line so I did what I did. Luckily the ball went in, and we got the win in Lille, which was the most important. For my first goal in Ligue 1, I think it was pretty good."