‘I Was Not Afraid of Him’ – Emre Can Explains How He Frustrated Neymar

Emre Can was previously linked with a move from Juventus FC to Paris Saint-Germain but the Germany international chose to join Borussia Dortmund in the January transfer window instead via a loan that quickly turned into a permanent move.

That decision played out earlier this week in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League as PSG traveled to Signal Iduna Park last Tuesday and proceeded to get outplayed to the tune of a 2-1 defeat with Can playing a major role for the Germans.

Sitting in the midfield, Can was the enforcer tasked with making sure Neymar Jr., in particular, didn’t have space to create. The 26-year-old committed three fouls but also won five ground duels and two aerial duels. Neymar did get on the scoresheet but that was mostly due to poor defending from Dortmund’s backline on Kylian Mbappé who picked out Neymar right in front of goal.

Speaking to Sky Germany (via Culture PSG), Can was not intimidated by the reputation of Neymar.

“I tried to be aggressive with him. This is what I always try to do, whether the opponent is Neymar or someone else. He is a world-class player but I was not afraid of him. I try to be present in duels.”

Considering how poorly Idrissa Gueye played in the first leg, and the fact that Marco Verratti is suspended for the return match at the Parc des Princes after picking up his third yellow card in the Champions League, PSG could really use a midfielder like Can in their squad right now.

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Tags Borussia Dortmund Champions League Emre Can Idrissa Gueye Marco Verratti Neymar