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Thomas Meunier: 'Living from my passion'

Publish on 06/05/2018 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS

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Thomas Meunier is hoping his first league title with Paris Saint-Germain will be just the first of many.

"Last year, I was a bit unlucky, we just missed out on the league title against an excellent Monaco side that were simply exceptional, but this year we were very, very good, uncompromising, very professional, disciplined and determined," the Belgian defender told The Ligue 1 Show on beIN Sports.

"The fact that we have won the league this year with a few matches left to spare shows just how good we have been. This feeling of finally winning the championship with Paris Saint-Germain, as well as other trophies, is the cherry on the cake."

Meunier has often had to wait behind Daniel Alves for a chance to show his worth at right-back, but he has still appeared in 22 Ligue 1 Conforama games, including playing 90 minutes in Friday's 2-2 draw at Amiens SC.

"I'm very happy with my season. I think I've played well when I've been on the pitch. Overall, I'm satisfied and I have always given it 100 percent. We always want to play every match, and that hasn't always been the case, but that's the coach's decision. You have to look at the positive side of things: I play for Paris Saint-Germain, there are thousands of players who can only dream of being in my position - I really have nothing to complain about."

He added: "I am improving every day. I was just talking about it with friends the other day: it's a real honour to play alongside such stars and my game has come on in leaps and bounds compared to the Thomas Meunier that was playing in Belgium."

'Caught the bug early'

Now 26, Meunier started out as an attacker before being converted into a marauding right-back and moving to Paris from Club Brugge in his homeland after Euro 2016. He admits that football was always a central part of his upbringing.

"I have always had this attitude, to never give up, always be hungry and never forget that I am living from my passion," he went on. "Football has always been in my family. My grandfather was a big football fan and the women of the house, my grandmother, my sister, my mum, they had to like it because every weekend my father was playing and we followed! I caught the bug very early, football has always held a very important place in my life."

PSG are on course to complete another clean sweep of the domestic trophies, with Tuesday's Coupe de France final against Les Herbiers to come. It has been a fine season, even if Unai Emery's side have sometimes failed to deliver in the biggest games.

"Sometimes people say that we choose our games, sometimes we take it easy before a Champions League match, or before the big games against Marseille or Lyon for example, but I have never thought about that. I have always given it absolutely everything, even at the risk of ending up on a drip in hospital for the night. I will have time to recover later," Meunier said.

'Never throw in the towel'

"That’s always been my philosophy, to never throw in the towel. You can always criticise the way I play, but not my commitment to the club, I'm sure of that."

Crowned champions with five games to spare, Paris have no intention of taking their foot off the gas, with history there to be rewritten. And for Meunier there's a certain World Cup on the horizon.

"The most important thing is to keep winning. When you’re a competitor, you always want to win. For me, it's a question of always giving 100 percent just like I have done throughout the season.

"Now we have the Coupe de France to prepare for, so we can't lose our rhythm, we have to stay in shape. End-of-season matches are always good for that, and also because most of us will need to be in good shape ahead of the World Cup!"