Laurent, you started the competittion well with a win over Fluminense (2-1). What did you take from that match?
"It was a hard-fought match, with a heavy pressing and lot of quality. A really good youth match. We were up against a good Fluminense side who opened the scoring a llittle bit against the run of play; we actually had a pretty good first half. After their goal, we had more space to work in and made the most of it by equalising through a nice goal from Jean-Kévin Augustin. Then Franck Bambock gave us the lead from the penalty spot. So, we got of to a good start."
You then notched a convincing 4-1 win over Al Nassr, a result that sent you into the quarter-finals...
"Indeed, we're in a three-team group and the two best-placed sides go through. So we've qualified. We only had twenty-four hours between the matches, which allowed me to rotate the squad and give everyone a chance. We have a twenty-man squad here in Qatar, so we're not short of options."
Which age groups are present for this tournament in Doha?
"There are six players born in 1995 [U-18], eleven from 1996 [U-17] and three born in 1997 [U-16]. This has given us some great chemistry; the lads are in fine spirits, well concentrated and, above all, aware of how lucky they are to be here. They'll give all they've got to perform well here."
What is Paris Saint-Germain's objective as reigning champions in this, the second edition of the tournament?
"Training and development make up our daily work but here we have a very specific challenge over the space of a fortnight. The idea is to instil the lads with a winning mentality and to showcase our academy on the world stage. So we're looking to go as far as possible in the competition. Along with the team from Aspire, we're the only ones to be here for a second year in a row. We're still unbeaten here and we won the inaugural edition, so we're necessarily the team to beat. It's great for our youngsters to experience this kind of situation, because if they go on to become professional players with Paris, it will be the same thing week in and week out."
Who are the other main contenders for the title?
"There are some big names here, like Liverpool, Real Madrid and Inter Milan... I've checkd out a couple of the other matches since the tournament began and I've seen some impressive performances. I'm thinking maily of the match between Boca Juniors and Japanese side Yokohama [the Argentines won out 4-3]. We have the advantage of having been here before, but I think that when everyone hits their straps, it will be a pretty level playing field. In any case, the conditions here are exceptional and we should see some very entertaining football. The pitches are superb, the temperature is ideal and the organisers have done everything to make sure we're as comfrotable as possible."