Danilo Pereira has become a pioneer in the Paris Saint-Germain dressing room. Planete PSG brings you this club soldier in the spotlight.
Under the orders of Thomas Tuchel, Danilo Pereira has been lined up in midfield for a few matches, but the Portuguese’s performances disappoint and pundits drop. Then the observers blame him for technical errors, a certain slowness and a lack of serenity, which is exactly what Paris Saint-Germain needs at this time.
Really improvised central defence?
During the 2020-2021 season, PSG was battered by injuries in the defensive sector. In contrast, Presnal Kimpembe and Marquinhos suffered setbacks and Thomas Tuchel had to deal with the means at hand. To adapt, the German technician decided to play Danilo Pereira in the center of the Parisian defence. Very quickly, the critics fall: Danilo does not play in his true position, he is sent to the pipe cutter, we hear at the time in the media.
Despite the difficult climate he is facing, Danilo Pereira grit his teeth and play where he is required to play to serve the team. By his own admission, his adaptation has been difficult, as he told FIFA recently: “When I arrived here, it wasn’t easy to adapt, it’s a completely different style of play than what other clubs practice, more specifically at Porto, so it was a big change in that sense.“
Improvise in central defence? not real…
His time in defense took France by surprise. Danilo Pereira, remembering his versatility, still in the context of an interview with FIFA: “Although I always played as a defensive midfielder, I also stepped back and played several games as a central defender when necessary. It happened in Porto, I played a few matches in Marítimo as a central defender, and when I was in Holland I also played a lot in that position.“.
First season results
At the end of the season in which he had to adapt to a new club and change coach (Mauricio Pochettino replaced Thomas Tuchel in January 2021), Danilo Pereira played 42 matches, including 12 in Champions League. Over the months, the Portuguese gradually gained confidence and the harsh criticisms upon his arrival gradually died down.
In the same way, Mauricio Pochettino, on the occasion of a few matches, does not hesitate to return the Portuguese to the center of defence, where he will provide some services.
Season Two: The Birth of a Leader
After a season of acclimatization, Danilo Pereira returns to PSG at the behest of Mauricio Pochettino, who trusts him (he played 37 matches and scored 5 goals). He who was the undisputed leader at FC Porto naturally became a leader at PSG.
This change is beginning to show within the Parisian group, who are described as idealists by their partners or coaches on a daily basis, even going so far as to greet the club’s staff on a daily basis.
On the pitch, Danilo Pereira asserts himself. We remember in particular the rants paid towards Lionel Messi During the C1 match, when the Argentine started walking after losing the ball which led to a counterattack. That evening, Danilo Pereira sacrificed himself by stopping the opponent’s attack (from real madrid) by taking a yellow card.
This remarkable tackle shows that the Portuguese expresses himself in the same way with the Ballon d’Or seven times as with the club’s young apprentice Tite, a fact reported by L’Equipe in November 2022.
Season 3: His mentality saved her
Last summer, the Campos-Galtier duo wanted to clean up PSG and decided to fire several players. Thus, Levin Kurzawa, Julian Draxler, Rafinha, Leondro Paredes, Idrissa Gaye, Mauro Icardi, Ander Herrera or even Thilo Kehrher are asked to find a new club.
According to many media outlets at the time, Danilo Pereira was part of the “undesirable” list. But in the end the Portuguese stayed, and Christophe persuaded Galtier to keep him, thanks to his fighting spirit, impeccable state of mind and versatile profile.
Primary Danilo Pereira
For three seasons, Danilo Pereira started training as a substitute. In the end, he has played more than thirty games at a time (he is currently playing 29 games this season).
Over time, his services became successful. Taking the ascent again on the physical level and on the air level. His style is not style Neymar Or Leo Messi, but he knew how to make himself useful or even essential for Paris Saint-Germain, by influencing his interventions, something that many of his partners would be inspired to reproduce.
Critics gave way to acclaim
Long gone are the days of the pundits who accompanied him to his Paris debut. As such, France Bleu journalist Bruno Salomon sums up the situation well: “I remember Danilo Pereira, when he arrived, everyone fell on him, saying that he had shoeboxes instead of feet and that he would not move forward. Now he’s an executive, it took him a while to fit in.”
Recently, other journalists have not hesitated to praise the 31-year-old Portuguese, starting with Florian Jazan on Twitter: “The man was the captain of Porto, the indisputable holder of the Portugal national team. How could people think it was made of marble?“.
Same story from Didier Rostan’s side: “It exists and we can count on it. He gives a helping hand to the defense, and runs back to the middle. He’s a great partner. It’s perfect.“
Winning in Paris takes time
It took Danilo Pereira a long time to establish himself at Paris Saint-Germain. With determination, action and an irreproachable attitude, he knew how to make himself essential. In general, success at PSG takes time and patience, both on the part of players and managers.
The Portuguese’s example should then give hope to the recruits for the 2022-2023 PSG edition. Who knows, Fabian Ruiz, Carlos Soler, Renato Sanchez, or even Hugo Iquitec and Nordi Mukiele will be showered with praise in the future, if we give them the time and chance to succeed in Paris…
What inspires you Danilo Pereira? We welcome your comments.