Les Herbiers coach ready to enjoy ‘dream’ final
The third-tier minnows take on Paris St Germain at the Stade de France on Tuesday.
Paris St Germain’s Coupe de France final opponents Les Herbiers have already produced one of the biggest shocks in French football.
Ligue 1 champions PSG stand on the brink of the double, but will not have much support outside their own fanbase at the Stade de France on Tuesday when they face the third-tier minnows, who have defied all the odds to get there.
It is arguably the biggest mismatch of any cup final in history and Les Herbiers coach Stephane Masala has already written off his side’s chances.
“PSG is a team that makes us dream,” Masala told a press conference. “I’m a young coach, I’m here to learn, as are my players and in this sense I hope that PSG will teach us a lesson.
“My message to the players will be to have the courage to look PSG players in the eye and then have fun.”
Les Herbiers, who could yet by relegated to the fourth tier this season, have a £1.77million playing budget, reported to be 275 times smaller than PSG, one of the world’s richest clubs and bankrolled by Qatar Sports Investments.
PSG’s injured superstar Neymar earns the same amount in little over a fortnight.
Championnat National club Les Herbiers hail from a small town in western France with a population of 16,000 and only turned professional three years ago.
PSG coach Unai Emery paid tribute to the underdogs, though, saying: “They deserve to be here. That’s the charm of this competition. Their supporters can enjoy it, ours likewise.
“It is not a match like any other. The club have won 11 Coupes de France but only twice by more than one goal. All finals are difficult.”