Gregor van der Wiel has opened up about his difficult time at PSG, during which he lost interest in the game. Between 2012 and 2016, the former right-back spent four years in Paris. He has now given some insight into what it was like to be a member of their star-studded dressing room.
“You land in France, with different players, different coaches, different tactics, I arrived in a team full of stars, guys that you often play with on PlayStation.” he said in an interview with Kick't Net.
“I didn’t really choose Paris. After the 2010 World Cup, I was less good. I missed my Euro 2012. And I didn’t have as many options as before. Unfortunately, at that point, I was reluctantly forced to change agents. For my career, I had to do it. I joined Mino Raiola. He already had some players at PSG, like Zlatan, so the connection was easy, and I was able to go there” Van der Wiel said.
Gregor van der wiel speaks about how he fell out of love with football at PSG
The Dutchman went on to explain how things changed quickly for him.
“I arrived as a young guy, with my eyes wide open, shaking their hands. It was crazy, really incredible. I received an offer to extend my contract by three years, that's true, but I decided not to extend it. I wasn't very happy there. I wasn't always playing. I didn't have the security to play regularly."
“There were also some incidents in my last season [2015/16] that annoyed me. Serge Aurier’s live Periscope video, for example, where he spoke about the coach [Laurent Blanc] and about me in particular, two or three days before an important Champions League match against Chelsea. He was punished for that.”
“Everyone sent me messages of 'Get ready, you're the one who will be playing'. Of course, it was an opportunity for me. But, in the end, I didn't even play. They put Marquinhos in my position even though he is a central defender”.
“They were difficult moments to experience, where you feel bad, and you say, 'Guys, do you think I'm that bad that I am second choice at right-back with a central defender in my position?’ It made me not want to stay there. To be honest, at that time I was sick of football.”
He left PSG in 2016 for Turkish club Fenerbahçe.