Neymar: Pundits on whether PSG move was the right decision
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Neymar is contemplating whether to leave PSG after their Champions League defeat to Manchester City, according to reports. The Brazil international sparkled in the first half at the Parc des Princes. But Pep Guardiola’s side mounted a terrific comeback to boost their chances of making the final.
PSG went ahead against City through Marquinhos, with the Brazil international finding the net in the 15th minute.
However, after the break, Guardiola’s side were a team transformed.
Kevin De Bruyne equalised in the 64th minute and Riyad Mahrez then struck to give the visitors a vital victory under the lights at the Parc des Princes.
It was a disappointing night for Neymar, who looked visibly dejected at the full time whistle.
And Catalan newspaper Sport say that, with the Brazilian yet to extend his contract, he’s now thinking about leaving French football behind.
Speaking before the game against City the 29-year-old indicated he would stay, saying: “We are in talks with PSG. There is nothing pressing.
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“Everything is nearly sorted. I feel at ease. I feel truly very happy here at PSG.
“Concerning the fans, that is what I can’t wait for the most, for them to be back in the stadium.
“I hope that they support all the players, that they will be there to encourage us.”
But the publication say that Neymar now has doubts about staying with the Ligue 1 giants.
Instead, he believes he can win the Champions League trophy he craves back at Barcelona and alongside Lionel Messi – who is widely expected to stay in Catalonia.
Neymar has Barcelona in his sights again, four years after he quit the Nou Camp for France under a cloud.
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Yet while he’s keen to return to his old club, that’s easier said than done.
Though Neymar has one year left on his current PSG deal, the Ligue 1 giants would still demand big money to part ways with their prized asset.
And with Barcelona’s finances hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, they may struggle to fork out the cash required to make a stunning deal happen.
Neymar is said to have ’sporting doubts’ about continuing at PSG and a reunion with Messi has long been a big dream of the veteran.
And the report makes clear that the final nail in the coffin could be if City complete the job against Mauricio Pochettino’s side next week.
Meanwhile, PSG boss Pochettino rued a game of ‘two different halves’ following last night’s loss.
“They were two different halves. The first half, we did well,” said the former Tottenham manager.
“It’s difficult to eliminate a team like Manchester City, but we created chances and I think we deserved to go into the dressing room with an advantage.
“But second half, they were better than us and they dominated and two accidents, two goals. In the second half, they dominated and they created more than us. It was one half for each.”
On the second leg, he added: “In football, you need to believe and go there in six days and try to approach the game like today, try to win, to score goals.
“Of course, the advantage is a little bit with Manchester City, but in football always you need to try.”
Guardiola, on the opposite side, has urged City to play without fear next time out.
“If we play shy and not who we are, then anything can happen as they have the quality to turn it around,” he said.
“But if we play with quality like we did in the second half maybe we’ll have the chance to reach the final.
“The first 15 minutes at Borussia Dortmund was the same, the first half at home vs Dortmund was the same. Everyone had the desire but we have to learn. It’s just the second time in our history we’re at this stages. Nearly 80 per cent of the players have never played in a Champions League semi-final. It’s not like other teams. It’s a process. I have to convince them that when we are who we are everything will be easier. Hopefully that will happen in the next game.
“You have to be aggressive against these big stars or you can’t do it. When we’re more aggressive doing a good intensity, we were different. We can be more aggressive and fluid.
“I was happy in the locker room after the players were just calm. Not cheering, just calm. Anything can happen in the second leg. Now we go to Crystal Palace to make an important step in the Premier League.”
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