KEY POINTS

  • PSG coach said this ahead of their Coupe de France quarter-final match
  • Federer lost the Australian Open semi-final to Djokovic in January
  • The tennis legend recently played in a charity tournament in Cape Town

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) head coach Thomas Tuchel motivated his soccer club by comparing their difficulties to tennis legend Roger Federer’s professed dominance in tennis.

Federer is easily one of the most popular athletes, irrespective of the sport, across the globe. With 20 Grand Slam titles under his belt and still going strong at 38, Federer is an inspiration to many.

Ahead of PSG’s Coupe de France quarter-final fixture against Dijon Wednesday, Tuchel tried to motivate his players for the knockout game by making a Federer reference. Speaking about PSG’s Champions League elimination last season after their loss to Manchester United, Tuchel said, "You have to accept the context. I said after [being eliminated by] Manchester United, 'guys, we will try again next year.’ The group stage, the last 16, that's how it is. It's the same for tennis. Everyone thinks that Roger Federer has always won, but it's not like that.”

“We are confident, we have improved. We have a good group. I am grateful for this chance. The first game was never a problem, everyone will talk about the second game. It is a sport and it must remain a sport. We can also say that it is our fault, with the matches against Barcelona and Man United."

"We lost these matches there and we cannot wait for everyone to be super positive. For me, that does not change. We are here every day with the team, we are very happy to be in the last 16. It's a dream for everyone to play in the Champions League with a club like PSG. We always remain positive; you can only influence the context by giving everything you have. It's up to us, we don't let ourselves be influenced from the outside,” the former defender added in the interview.

Meanwhile, Federer recently faced his good friend and arch-rival Rafael Nadal in a charity tournament in Cape Town in front of a record 52,000 spectators. It was a special tournament for Federer as it was being played in his mother’s country. The revenue generated would be used for the benefit of children in the region. Apart from their face off in a singles match, they also played a doubles match.

The Swiss Master teamed up with the founder of the Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates, while Nadal partnered South African comedian Trevor Noah.