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Neymar and Kylian Mbappe can guide PSG to achievements – Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti

Samuel Umtiti thinks Neymar and Kylian Mbappe can play together in the very same XI for Paris Saint-Germain this season just after Neymar compensated a shock pay a visit to to his former Barcelona teammates on Monday.

Neymar, who scored in PSG’s 3-1 win against Angers on Saturday, is in Barcelona to consider component in a poker event and took advantage of his time to pay a visit to Barca’s training ground. He posted images on his Instagram account with Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Luis Suarez just after catching up with his former teammates.

PSG compensated a document €222 million to indicator Neymar from Barca final summer season and have paired him in assault with Mbappe, who charge €180m just after an preliminary personal loan from Monaco. Inspite of their shelling out, PSG fell limited in the Champions League final season, exiting the competitiveness in the round of 16 against Real Madrid.

“Neymar was a extremely excellent teammate to have when he was at Barcelona,” Umtiti explained to Canal+. “He is someone who is always comprehensive of pleasure, who is always joyful and who is always taking part in pranks and building jokes.

“We know all about Neymar’s qualities. He can unlock any match. He is [taking part in] at an exceptional amount. Neymar together with Kylian Mbappe … players of their talent are made to play together. There is no cause why it must not do the job.”

Barcelona‘s Samuel Umtiti thinks Neymar and Kylian Mbappe can obtain achievements together at PSG.

Umtiti used a single season taking part in with Neymar at the Camp Nou and is teammates with Mbappe with France, who received the World Cup in July.

Even although a thirty day period has handed since France beat Croatia in the ultimate, Umtiti said he cannot consider they received.

“I believe about the World Cup title each one day,” Umtiti said. “When I choose up my cell phone, I see it as it is my wallpaper. It is correct that I believe about it all the time, even when I converse with my spouse and children or teammates who shared these times with me.

“We had a excellent squad. Truthfully, I could have used two much more months with them. It was entertaining, but at the very same time, also really serious. It is all well and excellent to have received the World Cup but there were being other things behind it way too. You have to remain focused and not test to be someone else.”

Umtiti, 24, is still a single of the youthful users of Barca’s initial team, but he has approved much more obligation since Ernesto Valverde took charge final season.

He is now on the lookout to use those people competencies in a coaching occupation when his taking part in days inevitably end.

“I would like to go into coaching,” Umtiti said. “I believe that it is a job that I will be in a position to love just after my footballing occupation.”

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Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo dismisses new Neymar speculation

Cristiano Ronaldo has shrugged off new reports of Real Madrid’s desire in Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar, stating the club are connected to “50 players” every single 12 months but their all-star assault remains the exact same.

Neymar is a prolonged-time period focus on of Madrid president Florentino Perez, and the latest months have observed additional speculation that a shift to the Bernabeu could break the €222 million world report charge set when he joined PSG from Barcelona.

Speaking to Spanish Television show “El Chiringuito de Jugones” in advance of Saturday’s Champions League last against Liverpool, Ronaldo was requested no matter whether it would be fantastic to play together with the Brazil global.

“I really don’t know — I am not in the cost of these points,” he stated. “I have been right here 8 several years and they generally talk about 50 players, and in the conclude no person will come.

“But those who reach the finals, who win points, are generally the exact same. The best players are right here at Real Madrid[Gareth] Bale, Karim [Benzema], [Marco] Asensio … they are all right here.”

Previously this 12 months, a supply instructed ESPN FC that irritation more than the absence of a new Madrid agreement intended Ronaldo could depart.

Asked no matter whether his foreseeable future was still at Madrid, the 33-year-old stated: “My foreseeable future is Saturday’s game, to play, win and go down in the background. That is the most significant. The foreseeable future is the present, and the present is correct now.”

And questioned about a previous claim that he would retire at the age of 41, Ronaldo stated: “My biological age is 23, so there is a prolonged way still to go until finally 41.

“I am pleased, how could I complain about points? We are in a different last, and the fans are with Cristiano. But there are points which do not depend on me at Madrid.

“I have by no means stated I do not experience cherished — for instance, I experience cherished in the dressing space. That is the most significant for me.

“There are some points you can control, some points you can’t. I am extremely close to my teammates, as they know me, and are with me in fantastic and bad times.

“[Madrid president Florentino Perez] is close to me and other players, some additional than other folks, in his have way. I can also be additional versatile and warmer, I have my way of becoming. It is qualified.

“I really don’t have to be best good friends with the president. He treats me effectively.”

Club captain Sergio Ramos has spoken in the latest months about the chance of Neymar signing up for.

“We will see what comes about — there will be time to talk following the Champions League last,” he instructed “El Partidazo” radio show.

“All the good players have been right here and there is generally a place right here for these varieties of players, these world stars, so that doorway is open.”

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Zinedine Zidane not acquiring into Neymar linking to Real Madrid

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane does not want speculation around a doable summertime to go for Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar to be a distraction forward of the Champions League closing.

There have been regular neighbourhood media tales declaring Madrid president Florentino Perez has renewed his pursuit of lengthy-time focus on Neymar, who is reportedly unsettled in Paris much less than a year right after his world record €222 million go from Barcelona.

Former Marca editor Eduardo Inda claimed on Monday’s version of Television set gossip show El Chiringuito de Jugones that a deal with Madrid was “almost finalised” and would go by way of forwarding of this summer’s World Cup for a cost of €260m-€300m, although an identical story made the AS front go over on Wednesday early morning with the headline “Neymar is negotiating with Real Madrid” and an identical figure quoted.

“[Neymar] is not my player,” Zidane mentioned. “I am not acquiring into this. I am just worried about ending the season very well.”

AS have also claimed that ex-Madrid and Brazil forward Ronaldo, who at the moment does some ambassadorial perform for Los Blancos club, was functioning as an intermediary in the negotiations. Previous 7 days, Ronaldo mentioned on Spanish radio that it was “difficult” for Neymar to leave PSG this summertime.

The most recent spherical of speculation comes as Neymar returned to Paris to finalise his recovery from a foot harm which has held him sidelined because of February. The 26-year-old was in the group at the Stade de France on Tuesday evening as his teammates accomplished the domestic treble with a 2- victory over third-tier Les Herbiers in the Coupe de France closing.

Ex-Madrid midfielder Paul Breitner, who was in Spain for last week’s Champions League semifinal 2nd leg against Bayern Munich, has presently taken it for granted that Neymar will be at the Bernabeu next season.

Neymar will be really important next year for Real Madrid,” Breitner told German station Sport 1, in quotes picked up by Marca.

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Neymar attends PSG schooling to move up recovery from metatarsal injury

Neymar attended Paris Saint-Germain‘s schooling session at the Camp des Loges on Saturday as he nears a return from a broken bone in his right foot.

The Brazil worldwide had been recuperating in his native Brazil considering that going through surgery on a fractured fifth metatarsal and returned to Paris on Friday to finish the last phase of his rehabilitation.

He was not existing as PSG have been held to a 2-2 draw absent at Amiens on Friday but was at schooling on Saturday to eventually reunite with his teammates and get back to do the job.

Neymar put in most of his time in the fitness centre, but he could not resist a handful of touches of the ball as he juggled barefoot on the grass.

Brazil national team medical doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told L’Equipe that “if Neymar is in a position to play for PSG in advance of the conclude of the season, then he will play.”

Neymar is aiming to be cleared to return by May 17, meaning he could characteristic in PSG’s last game of the season at Caen, and that may not be his last visual appearance for the club.

Neymar, clearly show your heart,” Lizarazu explained. “The PSG supporters need indicators of passion from you.”

Even so, not every person is that thrilled to see Neymar return. Christian, who performed for PSG from 1999-2001, told L’Equipe that he thinks the forward’s conduct has been disrespectful and considered he should really have been in attendance for the 7-1 win around Monaco last month that gave PSG the Ligue 1 title.

“Not becoming with the squad during the title-successful match was a strategic mistake,” Christian explained. “It was a lack of respect in direction of his teammates, the club and the fans.

“It is Neymar’s fault — PSG is not organized enough with him and the media give him as well significantly electrical power. I hope that he will reveal and apologise.”

In the meantime, Barcelona‘s Luis Suarez turned down the concept that his previous teammate remaining Camp Nou entirely for fiscal motives.

Talking with Radio Rincon, Suarez explained Neymar’s exit was challenging to consider but that it was a private selection.

Neymar‘s departure hurt us,” Suarez explained. “We have been teammates, buddies, but he took the selection with his soul and conscience. Even so, we realized that he would be skipped.

“I do not believe that he went for the cash, but as an alternative the aims that he would like to obtain in Paris.”

Regardless of Suarez’s beliefs, previous Barca and Lyon midfielder Edmilson told Cadena Ser that he thinks Neymar could leave PSG for Real Madrid this summer time.

“It would not shock me significantly if, following the World Cup, Neymar remaining for Madrid,” he explained. “I really don’t know how it would happen, but it would not shock me simply because he did not leave Barca in an incredibly fantastic way.”

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Neymar has to leave Paris Saint-Germain to come to be the very best – ex-Ballon D’Or Rivaldo

Previous Barcelona player and Brazil global Rivaldo believes that Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar will not be capable to fulfil his ambition of staying the very best player in the world with the French champions.

Rivaldo received La Liga 2 times, as nicely as the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Tremendous Cup with Barcelona among 1997 and 2002, although Neymar remaining the Spanish giants for a world-record €222 million previous summer time.

Speaking with GloboEsporte, Rivaldo, who received the Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s World Player of the Yr awards in 1999 and lifted the World Cup in 2002, claimed that Neymar can only arrive at Barcelona Lionel Messi’s and Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo‘s degree if he returns to Spain.

“I have by now reported that Neymar can be the very best player in the world,” he reported. “On the other hand, I feel that if he stays at PSG, he will not accomplish that.

“Neymar has to leave PSG. In football, to be the very best, you have to play in Spain. Barca, for the reason that of his predicament, is tricky. From the information and facts I am acquiring from persons close to him and from what I have read lately, it is remarkably probable that Neymar will go to Real in the upcoming.

“It is there, in Madrid, whereby I think that he can come to be the very best player in the world.”

Neymar is now in Brazil recovering from medical procedures on a fractured fifth metatarsal in his correct foot and he not long ago disclosed by way of Instagram that he has resumed strolling devoid of the assist of crutches.

Speaking at a sponsor function in Sao Paulo previous Tuesday, Neymar vowed to be healthy and much better than at any time at this summer’s World Cup in Russia and hopes to be cleared to return to motion at a May 17 health-related evaluation.

According to a supply close to PSG, hope is fading in Paris that he will attribute once again this season, but he is predicted to return to the French team all-around the starting of May.

Neymar will also be present for his team’s Ligue 1 title celebrations after the home clash with Rennes in the penultimate fixture of the marketing campaign.

Regarding the Real Madrid rumours described by Rivaldo, the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) have rubbished a report in El Pais that claimed Neymar could leave PSG by way of an exit clause in his agreement truly worth €300m.

The Spanish newspaper had claimed that a failure to win the Champions League, the Ballon d’Or or The Very best FIFA’s Men’s Player would have activated a €300m release clause in Neymar’s agreement on Sept. 1 of this 12 months.

On the other hand, the LFP issued a statement to the French information outlet L’Equipe in reaction to the post, citing a rule that states minimal price release clauses and exit clauses are not permitted in qualified French football contracts.

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Neymar has not called because PSG clinched Ligue 1 title – Unai Emery

Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has disclosed that superstar Neymar has not called him because past weekend’s Ligue 1 title triumph in excess of Monaco.

The French money club thrashed next-placed Monaco 7-1 to verify their seventh French crown past Sunday and the Brazil intercontinental showed himself actively playing poker with the match on a display screen in the track record for the duration of the rout.

French 1998 World Cup and 2000 European championship winner Christophe Dugarry, previously a Barcelona player, made headlines on Tuesday right after accusing Neymar of “spitting” on PSG by way of his conduct.

And when questioned by Cadena Cope radio if Neymar experienced called or messaged him because PSG’s title-clinching victory on Sunday, Emery reported no.

“I spoke with Neymar two or 3 months in the past to see how he was and what strategy he experienced of becoming a member of the group in schooling,” reported Emery. “The players have a chat, so Neymar has a direct conversation with the players, as well as the club and I.”

Emery, who didn’t point out he took an issue with the frequency of conversation with Neymar, went on to emphasise his excellent connection with the former Barcelona man and the dedication Les Parisiens‘ No. 10 has towards club and place.

“I have a pretty excellent connection with Neymar,” Emery reported. “He is fully committed to the team, to Brazil and he is worried about his recovery. Neymar is pretty eager to return and to play 1 game right before the conclusion of the season, that is what he told me when we chatted two months in the past.

“I see Neymar in Paris [in the long run], I truthfully experience that — the union in between him and PSG will continue. Neymar has distinct [in his head] what he needs at a particular person and collective stage, we spoke about it at the beginning of the season with him and the president and that venture stay in place.

Neymar is browsing to have the greatest part at PSG and PSG is browsing to have a large starring part with Neymar’s support. I would not understand a PSG with no Neymar and Neymar would not understand himself with no PSG.”

Having said that, Emery admitted his belief that Neymar will stay with PSG earlier the summer season could not discourage elite European clubs from screening the waters.

“It is standard that best clubs are fascinated by him,” reported the former Sevilla manager. “He is viewed as to be and is proving to be, amongst the most effective 3 players in the entire world. Of training course, at some point, best clubs can knock on the doorway.”

On his individual long run, Emery has been closely connected with a return to formative club Real Sociedad as the coach but pressured that PSG and any possible agreement talks come very first.

“I do not see myself as in or out [at PSG this summer season],” the 46-yr-outdated reported. “I imagine we have experienced an excellent season. I have been right here for too many years and I continue to function.

“When I sit down with the president and the club administration, to communicate about the long run, which we have not performed yet, we will take into consideration what is most effective for the club and for me.

“Against Real Madrid [in the Champions League spherical of sixteen], it was not to be. But the team reacted well. We have been regular. We received the league title against Monaco. We will sit down in the shorter-term and go over what the long run is heading to be.”

Emery rejected present-day backlinks with Sociedad but did not disguise he adore for the club, nor his excellent connection with the present-day management.

“I have not gained an offer you from La Real,” he reported. “I have a excellent get hold of with [Sociedad sporting director] Roberto Olabe.

“I have a dialogue pending with PSG mainly because I finish my agreement in June and we will see if we continue. I want to discuss with PSG right before I make a determination.

“I was with Real Sociedad for 10 many years. I normally say that 50 percent of my coronary heart is with the club.”

Emery can lead PSG to a next consecutive Coupe de France last underneath his management if the team can beat Caen away on Wednesday, with semi-skilled outfit Les Herbiers awaiting at Stade de France.

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Breaking: Lucas Moura joins Tottenham for £25million

Tottenham Hotspurs have completed the signing of Lucas Moura from Paris Saint Germain for a deal reported to be in the tune of £25 million in a five-and-a-half-year contract.
The Brazilian arrived at Spurs training facility for his medicals few hours before noon and it is understood that he might be available to make his debut at Anfield against the Reds on Sunday.
His arrival is coming at a time Spurs are in desperate need of reinforcement as they will be locking horns with Liverpool, Arsenal, and Juventus in the Champions League with few days in between.
Moura will be allowed to feature for Spurs in the Champions League as he wasn’t part of the PSG squad for the UEFA top-flight competition during the group stage.
The Gunners were reported to be the major club asking to sign the 25-year old but the former Sao Paolo midfielder will now be Mauricio Pochettino’s first major signing in January since his Southampton days with his only January acquisition been the then-teenage Dele Alli who was immediately sent on loan to MK Dons in 2015.
The former PSG man will face stiff competition for a place in Spur’s midfield as they currently have Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Heung-min Son, Moussa Sissoko and Erik Lamela in the attacking midfield position which is Moura’s natural role.
Spurs had been favoured in this transfer of the once-hot prospect all over Europe who joined the Ligue 1 leaders for £38m five years ago as Paris needed to offload some of their squad players to comply with Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules after the summer glamorous signings of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

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The whistles from the fans did hurt – Neymar

World Most Expensive Player, Neymar Jr has explained that he was hurt as a result of the boos he was subjected to from the PSG fans last week after denying Uruguayan, Edinson Cavani from taking a spot kick to become the all-time leading goal scorer for the Paris club in the late minutes of their game against Dijon which they already lead 7-0.
The Brazilian declined to gift the opportunity to Cavani in a game that losing the spot-kick wouldn’t have mattered to the peril of the fans.
He took the ball to take the Penalty which he duly converted to make the scoreline 8-0 while Cavani also claimed the record when he broke the deadlock in the League leader’s 4-0 victory over Montpellier last weekend, a game Neymar scored twice.
With rumours making the rounds about a possible return to Spain with Real Madrid due to certain unrest in the Paris camp, he claimed he is happy although he admitted he was hurt with the boos and whistles.
“Of course, it [the whistling] bothered me, but we are here to be whistled and applauded,” Neymar said. “I am happy, especially for the victory. I think we played well.
“It was impossible not to know [about the record]. The coach chose me as the penalty taker though, and there is no problem with this.
“Everyone [in the team] knows what went on in the changing room, the coach decided and I take on that responsibility.
“I am calm and happy here with my friends and teammates. I came here to make history, give my best and score a lot of goals.
“I’m very happy for him and I’ll try to carry on helping him in every game. I hope that he continues to score a lot more goals for PSG, of course.”

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Neymar and Cavani Partnership will get even better – Mbappe

PSG Young forward, Kylian Mbappe has stated that the team’s excellent attacking force which comprises of himself, Brazilian, Neymar and Edinson Cavani will get even better as the season progress.

The Paris club are positioned conveniently at the top of Ligue one as they sit nine points clear of second placed Marseille with Mbappe having eight league goals to his name, Neymar has hit 11 and Cavani has 19.

The relationship between superstar, Neymar and striker, Cavani hasn’t been very perfect as they continue to row on the pitch over who takes set pieces but Mbappe believes that they are keen on working together to win many silverwares for the historical club.

The 19-year old who had his breakthrough season at Monaco last season has insisted that this season can be even more amazing for him as he has been enjoying his season so far.

“You always have to aim higher,” Mbappe told beIN SPORTS. “You can’t put any limits on yourself, because if you do, and you reach that limit, there’s nowhere else to go, but we’ll keep progressing, and we’ll see where we end up.

“I always want more. I don’t know if that’s a good quality or not, but I always, always want more, and I want to work hard to get it. It’s been a fantastic year, I have done very well. Now in 2018, I hope I can do even better and improve.”

He continued: “I think I had to adapt my game to PSG’s. I went from one system to something totally different. At Monaco, we played on the counter-attack and we often had acres of space to run in to and score goals. Now at PSG it’s different.

“Our opponents get everyone behind the ball, so we need to play a little less deep, and move the ball around a bit more, lots of one-twos, things like that. It’s something I’ve had to engrave into my head, and it’s getting better and better.

“And I think it can be even better still – things are really starting to fall into place with Neymar and Edinson Cavani, we’re working really well together. Also with Dani Alves, who plays just behind me, and Marco Verratti, so things are really starting to become more and more natural. It’s very promising for the future.”

Neymar Might Go To Real Madrid

Neymar could be on his way to Real Madrid in a €250 million deal

Just few months ago, Paris Saint Germain made a massive statement of intent by signing Brazilian superstar, Neymar Jr from Barcelona in a £200 million world record deal. Only 4 months later, daily reports keep linking him with a move to Santiago Bernabeu.

The former Santos forward has made a spectacular start to life in Paris, after scoring 15 goals with 11 assists in 18 games. His addition has not only inspired an outstanding league run for PSG but has also reignited their dream of winning the UEFA Champions League.

However, reports continue to link the 25-year old to back to Spain, this time with the Spanish Champions Real Madrid, a move Barcelona fans will hope doesn’t materialize.

Diano Gol and The Mirror reported that Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez has discussed the possibility of Neymar joining the European Champions in a €250 million move with Neymar’s father at a dinner. Although both reports didn’t confirm when this move is likely to happen, it is believed that this can be preparations for a possible transfer next summer.

Neymar Jr has formed an incredible attacking partnership with Uruguayan, Edinson Cavani, and young French sensation, Kylian Mbappe, a talented trio that can certainly cause problems for any side in Europe and can go on to win multiple trophies for Paris Saint Germain thus increasing the Brazilian’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or.

But, only time will tell if he will leave this Paris attractive set-up to compete for a place in Real Madrid attack that comprises the BBC [Benzema, Bale, and Christiano Ronaldo].

Neymar flays Ronaldo and Messi in top 10 athletes with most Instagram story views in 2017

Neymar flays Ronaldo and Messi in top 10 athletes with most Instagram story views in 2017

Christiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly the most influential footballer on social media as his Instagram page is monitored by over 116 million followers. But the Portuguese captain is not entirely untouchable on Instagram.

In less than 12 months, Ronaldo’s Instagram page got 30 million new following however rather surprisingly he does not lead the way in the most viewed story.

Instagram stories work in such a way that it is only accessed and viewed on its mobile app, it captures the day of the individual in snapshots which cannot be seen on the main page.

Controversial boxer, Floyd Mayweather, and NBA superstar LeBron James expectedly made the cut although the list is dominated by footballers.

Neymar’s countryman and Paris Saint-Germain teammate, Dani Alves is featured and there were places for Karim Benzema, James Rodriquez, as well as Paul Pogba in the top 10 with Lionel Messi shockingly missing out.

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Neymar ‘well worth the money’ PSG spent on him – Thomas Meunier


Neymar and Edinson Cavani’s goals late in the second half earned all three points for PSG in a home win over Troyes.

PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain right back Thomas Meunier hailed teammate Neymar and declared him “worth the money spent on him” after he inspired the lacklustre Ligue 1 leaders to a 2-0 home win over Troyes on Wednesday.

The Brazil international scored the opener and assisted Edinson Cavani for the second at Parc des Princes as Unai Emery’s men moved 10 points clear at the summit of Le Championnat.

Speaking after the final whistle in the mixed zone, Meunier praised Neymar and recognised his key role in the hard-fought victory and in the team since his world-record €222 million move from Barcelona this summer.

“I think that we ought to thank him after this,” the Belgium international told journalists. “Some will say that it was not the best performance of his career but he is always decisive.

“He causes a great deal of panic [for opponents]. Yeah, he is well worth the money spent on him.”

Neymar led PSG to victory over Troyes on Wednesday night.

Thiago Silva captained PSG for the 200th time against Troyes and the Brazil international was impressed by Neymar leaving the ball for Edinson Cavani to take a first-half penalty after everything that has been said recently about the pair’s relationship.

“I have not spoken about this with him,” said Silva. “I know my little brother — he has gone through a lot of difficult moments in his career.

“There has been a lot of confusion and there has been a lot said about these penalties. Neymar showed very good attitude here.

“He gave Edinson the ball — unfortunately, Edinson did not score.”

Silva, who is 33 and has a contract until 2020 after extending it almost 12 months ago is keen to play past that date after wearing the armband for the 200th time.

The former AC Milan wants to stay on at Parc des Princes, especially if the current squad remains relatively intact, and he reserved special praise for PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi and former coach Carlo Ancelotti.

“I am very happy,” Silva said. “I hope that I can stay here for much longer. Especially with this current group — it is special.

“It is wonderful to wear this shirt. I would like to thank my president and especially Carlo [Ancelotti], who gave me the opportunity to wear the armband.”

As Marquinhos was rested for the Troyes success, Silva may well find himself handed a breather when PSG take on Strasbourg at Stade de la Meinau on Saturday ahead of next week’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich in Germany.

Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.



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Neymar: The Brazil everyone respects is back



  • Brazil qualified for Russia 2018 by topping the South American standings
  • The FIFA World Cup Final Draw takes place in Moscow on Friday 1 December
  • Neymar: “Brazil are ready to face anyone”

True to their past, Brazil are a formidable side once again. Following the disappointment of the last FIFA World Cup™ and the ensuing aftermath, the national team went back to their roots and rebuilt their reputation with a swashbuckling campaign to qualify for Russia 2018.

Neymar has been one of the pillars of that renaissance. Arguably in the best form of his career right now, the No10 is the team’s leader both on and off the pitch. At the next World Cup he is relishing the prospect of expanding on the promise he showed at the previous edition, before injury ended his tournament prematurely.

Ahead of the Final Draw, Neymar spoke to FIFA.com about the Brazilian national team, regaining the respect they had lost, the role luck plays in winning the World Cup and the extent to which the traumatic experience at the last finals influenced the player he has become.

I think this World Cup is going to be huge for Brazilians. Personally, I’m going to give everything I’ve got to win it.

Neymar

FIFA.com: Looking ahead to the draw for Russia 2018, is there any team Brazil would like to avoid?
Neymar: No. Brazil are ready to face anyone. We train so that we’re not afraid of anyone we might go up against. It’s a World Cup, so the best teams are there. They’re well-prepared sides with tremendous quality. You can’t pick one team over another, thinking that they’ll be weaker. You just have to be ready when you go to a World Cup.

How do you follow events like the Final Draw?
Obviously you can’t wait to find out who you’re going to play against. But I don’t think it matters too much. It’s one of those occasions where you put the popcorn in the microwave and call your family and friends together to watch it on television (laughs).

You say that the outcome of the draw does not matter so much, but how much luck is involved for a team to win the World Cup?
Luck? Very little. I don’t think luck itself can help a team win it. I think the eventual champions are the ones that put in the hard work a long time beforehand, and are ready to face anyone in their group or in the knockout rounds.

Brazil seem to have regained the respect they lost in the wake of the 2014 World Cup. Do you agree?
Yes, I do. The respect towards the team now is different to what it was three or four years ago after the World Cup. People see us differently. The Brazil that everyone respects and admires is back; a team that enjoys good football. And that makes us happy. The mood of our fans and our country has changed. Everyone’s confident and happy looking ahead to the World Cup. You can’t put a price on that.

What role will Russia 2018 have on your career, after the abrupt way your tournament ended in 2014?
(Pauses to think) It’s strange because I didn’t finish that World Cup the way I wanted to. Obviously I wanted to crown it with the title, but I neither won nor lost. I didn’t finish the World Cup. My tournament ended with a serious injury and, unfortunately, I had to pay for that.

What are your memories of that time?
That was a really bad week for me. I cried a lot and asked myself many times why it had happened. But eventually you understand that everything that happens in life makes you stronger, even if it’s not something you want at that particular time. It helps you to learn and prepare yourself better in future. I think this World Cup is going to be huge for Brazilians. Personally, I’m going give everything I’ve got to win it.

In addition to being a goalscorer, you are providing increasing numbers of assists. Which of the two do you prefer?
Both of them make me very happy. I like it when things go well for my team, whether that’s with Paris Saint-Germain or Brazil. While the objective is always to score, giving a pass to a team-mate to find the net also makes me happy. Both give you a similar feeling, it’s practically the same.

Is that something players are born with? Or is it learned?
It’s something you should learn as a child. You shouldn’t be big-headed and only think about yourself because at the end of the day football is a team game. The desire to help and to set up your team-mates to score is something that’s instilled in you as a child. There are obviously times when I finish off moves, that’s one of my traits, but I’m also happy giving passes and assists. It’s always been that way.

Finally, can you finish off this sentence? In 2018, Neymar will…
(Laughs) In 2018 Neymar will be very happy at the World Cup.



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Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic: I’d prefer it if Neymar was still at the Camp Nou


Ale Moreno weighs in on Lionel Messi‘s assertions that Barca are better balanced and stronger defensively without Neymar.
Ernesto Valverde says that he is happy with the spirit that his Barcelona side showed after coming from behind to draw 1-1 against Valencia.

Ivan Rakitic has told Mundo Deportivo he would bring Neymar back to Barcelona if he had a magic wand.

Brazil forward Neymar left to join Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record move during the summer window.

Although Barcelona are four points clear at the top of La Liga and unbeaten in 19 matches in all competitions without him, some critics have described their performances as boring.

And Rakitic said Neymar’s exit could be the reason for that criticism, adding: “We had a bit more ‘show’ when Ney was here — maybe we lack that a little bit now.

“That was brought by Ney himself. I would prefer him to be here. If I had a magic wand, I would have him by my side.

“We’ve spoken about Ney a lot, though, but he’s not here any more and we’re doing really well.

“With the change of system, everything changes a little. We are more balanced now, more of a unit, whether that’s in attack or defence. But we still have a lot to improve.”

Neymar has remained a major talking point in the Catalan press, with reports last month suggesting he had regrets about his decision to leave after he made several trips back to Barcelona.

Rakitic said it was normal for Neymar to miss the friends he made while in Catalonia for four years.

And asked whether he felt the attacker also missed the club, he said: “What Barcelona give you, no other club or city in the world can.

“I miss him, too, not just on the pitch but in the dressing room. It’s been the same for me before. When I left Germany for Sevilla, I missed everyone. Then when I came here, I was going back to Seville whenever I could.

“Later, you get used to your new surroundings and teammates.

“The strength of this team is in its values in the dressing room. We miss Ney. Whether he regrets leaving or not, you’d have to ask him.”

Neymar has scored 14 goals in 15 games for Barcelona and created eight more and Rakitic added: “If he’s playing like he is while sad, then watch him go when he’s happy… so I’m sure he’s not doing that badly.”

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.



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Neymar Sr. says it is too early to discuss Real Madrid move


Ale Moreno weighs in on Lionel Messi‘s assertions that Barca are better balanced and stronger defensively without Neymar.

Neymar’s father has said it is too early to discuss the prospect of his son joining Real Madrid but stressed that there are no current plans to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar Jr. joined PSG from Barcelona in a €222 million deal in the summer but there has been speculation that the 25-year-old has not settled at the Parc des Princes.

Catalan outlet Mundo Deportivo reported last month that Madrid president Florentino Perez remained in contact with Neymar’s camp with a view to a potential move, while Sergio Ramos and Casemiro have both said they would welcome the Brazil international at the Bernabeu. 

Neymar Sr. told Fox Sports in Brazil that there are no plans for the forward to leave PSG at this stage but stopped short of ruling out a move to Madrid.

“Things change so much, you can never be sure of anything,” Neymar Sr. said.

“At the moment we are not thinking about leaving PSG. To respond to this question is to feed something which is impossible. I cannot talk about what might happen in five or six years.

“He has a long contract with PSG and has just arrived. He has been here for three months and people are talking about him leaving. It is difficult to respond to this type of thing.”

Neymar Jr. has contributed 14 goals and 10 assists in his first 15 games as Unai Emery’s side have moved top of both their Champions League group and the Ligue 1 table.

However, an on-pitch disagreement over penalty duties with teammate Edinson Cavani sparked rumours over dressing-room issues, although Neymar Jr. strongly denied suggestions he is unhappy earlier this month. 

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan



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Messi, Neymar & Ronaldo on the Final Draw



  • Messi imagining potential opponents
  • Ronaldo relaxed and focused on victory
  • Neymar will be making popcorn

As excitement grows in anticipation of the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, have you ever wondered what the experience is like for the players watching at home?

FIFA.com put this very question to three of world football’s biggest stars. You can find out how they feel about the upcoming draw in the above video.

“I’m relaxed because, although some teams are stronger than others, all the groups will be balanced. I’m calm because I know that, when the time comes, the team will be ready,” explained a laid-back Cristiano Ronaldo. “Whoever we’re drawn against, we have to win, no matter what,” he added with characteristic determination.

“I’ll be following it, so long as we don’t have training or a match,” confirmed Lionel Messi, who also confessed that he was already imagining who Argentina’s potential opponents might be.

Like Ronaldo, Neymar was in relaxed mood. “I believe that we’re ready to take on anyone.”

But the Brazilian also admitted that this Friday would not be just another day, and that he already had plans for the draw. “We’re going to put some popcorn in the microwave, and call family and friends. Everyone will have a keen eye on the television.”

How about you? Does popcorn sound like a good plan to you?



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PSG boss Unai Emery on Troyes win – ‘It was a good challenge for us’


Neymar and Edinson Cavani‘s goals late in the second half earned all three points for PSG in a home win over Troyes.
Neymar’s left-footed strike from distance got PSG on the board against Troyes.

PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery declared his happiness at his team’s performance from an organisational point of view in the 2-0 home win over Troyes in Ligue 1 on Wednesday.

The French capital outfit left it late but Neymar and Edinson Cavani goals were the difference at Parc des Princes.

Speaking after the final whistle, Emery declared himself satisfied that ultimately the hosts’ quality shone through.

“We were up against a side that defended very well,” Emery said. “They caused us plenty of problems.

“It was a good challenge for us — we are always looking to improve. Winning matches easily can sometimes lead to false sense of security.

“Today we were tactically smart. We showed patience. We started well but just could not find that final ball. We had to answer the challenge and we did that in the end.”

Cavani’s goal means that he now has 17 from the first 15 matches in Le Championnat this season, the first time that has been done since Olympique de Marseille’s Josip Skoblar back in 1970-71.

The Uruguay international acknowledged Troyes’ disciplined and organised display but felt a rotated PSG side still merited all three points.

“The most important thing was to win this match,” Cavani said. “We have extended our lead at the top of the table.

“It was a very tough game because Troyes were tactically perfect. It is a great win for us that will help us improve.

“The entire squad is ready to do their bit for the team but it is also normal that certain players lack a bit of rhythm when you are not playing regularly.”

Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp was one of those fringe players lacking a bit of match fitness, but he still kept a clean sheet and made a few impressive saves in the process.

“I was very happy to be back on the pitch but the most important thing was that the team won,” the Germany international said. “It was a very difficult match.

“Troyes defended very deep and very well. It was not easy to find a way through but in the end, our attacking quality won the day.

“It is an important result. Now we have a 10-point lead over Marseille in second place.”

Giovani Lo Celso also got a chance to impress in midfield and although the combination of him, Marco Verratti and Javier Pastore did not work that well, the Argentina international was thankful for his chance.

“It was a really hard-fought win over a side that afforded us very little space,” Lo Celso said. “They had some very quick players in attack so we had to be careful.

“We did not manage to score early and the longer it went on, the harder it got. We opened the scoring with a beautiful goal.

“The most important thing is that the team won. I am one of the players knocking on the door for a starting role. I was lucky enough to play tonight and I tried to give my best for the team.”

Next up for PSG is a trip to Strasbourg, where Emery is expected to rotate his squad again before Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League next week.

Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.



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Paris Saint-Germain vs. Troyes – Football Match Report – November 29, 2017


Neymar‘s fine strike helped Paris St Germain secure a 2-0 win over Troyes to move 10 points clear at the top of Ligue 1.

Both Lyon, who lost at relegation-battlers Lille, and Monaco, beaten away by Nantes, had failed to make up any ground in Wednesday’s earlier kick-offs.

It looked set to be a frustrating night for Unai Emery’s men as Troyes, who saw a goal ruled out for offside, produced an organised display at Parc des Princes before Edinson Cavani had his penalty saved.

Neymar, though, continued to live up to his world-record transfer fee when the Brazil forward lashed in a low, angled effort from just outside the box to finally break the deadlock on 73 minutes, before Cavani added a late second.

PSG, who had won away at champions Monaco over the weekend, started brightly.

Javier Pastore’s shot was blocked before Cavani fired over after being played in by a quickly-taken free kick.

Troyes just about cleared their lines after Angel Di Maria had raced clear, but was closed down by the Troyes keeper before Cavani’s pass failed to pick out Neymar with the goal unguarded.

The visitors, looking to build on the 3-0 win over Angers and keep moving up the table, almost snatched a shock goal after half an hour when Samuel Grandsir got clear to force a good reaction stop from Kevin Trapp.

When Grandsir did have the ball in the net soon afterwards with a close-range finish, the goal was ruled out for offside in the build-up.

PSG had the chance to take the lead five minutes before half-time when Cavani was tugged back by Karim Azamoum and fell to the floor.

However, goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa guessed right to make a fine low save as Troyes went into the break on level terms.

PSG continued to probe after the restart, but were again left unrewarded as Neymar flashed a 20-yard effort wide.

The Brazilian, though, managed to breakthrough in the 73rd minute when picking the ball up on the left, some 25 yards out, before powering forward and unleashing an angled drive across the keeper and into the far corner.

Troyes substitute Suk Hyun-Jun send a close-range header goalwards, which Trapp pushed away before again being tested by the South Korean.

Any hopes of a dramatic comeback, though, were ended a minute from time when Cavani latched onto a pass from Neymar, who broke down the left and cut into the penalty area, to slot past Samassa and continue PSG’s impressive form.



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PSG Goncalo Guedes to join Valencia on loan – sources


Neymar scored twice, notched two assists and won a penalty in a dazzling home debut as PSG routed Toulouse.
After another impressive match, Jonathan Johnson reflects on the excitement and dynamism Neymar has brought to PSG.

PARIS — Goncalo Guedes is set to join Valencia on loan from Paris Saint-Germain shortly, according to sources close to both clubs.

The Portugal international was left out of the PSG squad for Sunday’s Neymar-inspired 6-2 thrashing of Toulouse and it was widely reported that it was due to his imminent inclusion in a deal for AS Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe.

Suggestions that he is on his way out of Parc des Princes — temporarily — are accurate but the destination is Valencia in Spain and not the principality.

According to both sources, PSG and Los Che are in advanced discussions regarding the versatile 20-year-old attacking talent and a season-long loan deal without an option to buy should be the outcome of those talks.

The former Benfica man has made just eight Ligue 1 appearances, only one as a member of the starting XI, since his move from the Portuguese giants back in January.

Goncalo Guedes
PSG’s Goncalo Guedes appears set to join Valencia, rather than Monaco.

The Spanish source indicated that Valencia initially wanted Lucas Moura but sporting director Antero Henrique suggested Guedes instead and the La Liga outfit then decided the Portuguese talent represents a more realistic financial target than the Brazilian — who remains available for transfer despite the official line being that he has an ankle injury.

The French source revealed that Valencia will take on almost all of Guedes’ salary while he is playing at Mestalla and that PSG remain convinced that he will return to them next summer and ultimately develop into an important figure in their plans.

Valencia owner Peter Lim was present at Parc des Princes for the demolition of Toulouse and Guedes is set to join Marcelino Garcia Toral’s men until the end of the campaign with the move likely to be made official in the next few days.

Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.



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