Blanc avoids Mourinho mind games, hails retiring Henry

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PSG coach Laurent Blanc avoided trying to enter the mind games of Jose Mourinho, ahead of their UEFA Champions League tie with Chelsea.

The Ligue 1 champions drew Mourinho's Chelsea in the last 16 on Monday, with the first leg to take place in Paris on February 17.

Mourinho claimed prior to the draw that he would be happy to play Paris Saint-Germain, and Blanc was not biting - aware of the Portuguese tactician's cunning ways.

"Did Mourinho win the psychological battle? If he wins a point, it is because he's playing a game. I have no game to play with Jose," the French coach said.

"We know him. We know him very well. You [the media] like that, you like his quotes. That's it. 

"He's very strong in this aspect but not only [that]. 

"He had done the math as we did I am sure and he knew the teams he could meet. 

"He knows Paris was one of them and he thought: 'I will come with my little quote'."

Blanc himself did not pass judgement on whether he was happy with the draw, claiming Chelsea were stronger than last season - in which they advanced past PSG in the Champions League last-eight on away goals after the tie ended 3-3.

"Good or bad draw? At the end of both games, we will be able to know that," Blanc said.

"The sure thing is that it is a great team. That's for sure. We know them well. 

"We still have memories of last year. We remember that game. I think they are stronger this year. 

"It's going to be very interesting. We have to get ready. We still have time beforehand. There's a huge opponent waiting for us."

PSG's boss also paid tribute to retiring countryman Thierry Henry, with who he played with for France - and also against in the Premier League.

"The youngsters today cannot imagine what Thierry Henry has done during his entire career because he played abroad a big part of his career," Blanc said. 

"He has done so many things in football. I think to the French national team obviously. 

"I think also about Arsenal. He is a part of the history of a very important club. That's a fantastic player. 

"He has amazing ability. At first he was playing more on the wing, before moving in the middle. He has a great sense for goals. 

"He was playing for so long, that's impressive. In my opinion, he could have even played longer."