Vice and Mischief: Leandro Paredes Has Carved Out a Unique Niche at PSG

Recently, I wrote an article about Leandro Paredes assuming the role of the bodyguard for Paris Saint-Germain. I’m not sure if those at the capital club read the article but it appears as though some members from within feel the same way and they appreciate that the midfielder stands up for his teammates.

Since the arrivals of Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappé back in 2017, French football officials have done little to protect the Ligue 1 stars like what’s done with players like Lionel Messi in La Liga. As a result, PSG has gone public, asking for better officiating, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

When the officials or federation do little protect the stars of the Parisian club, then it’s time for someone within the squad to police the situation. Someone to tell opponents that they will not take liberties on PSG’s most important players with reckless challenges without repercussions.

After three years, it looks as though PSG have found their man in Paredes. The 25-year-old has taken it upon himself to protect his teammates and as one official member of the club told L’Equipe (via Culture PSG), they prefer when he’s on the pitch.

“It’s not wrong; he kicks, he has his share of vice and mischief, we prefer it to be at PSG than opposite,” a PSG official said. “As soon as an opponent approaches, he will always be one of the first to disembark.”

Culture PSG sights Paredes being unpopular among the players with Montpellier HSC, more specifically striker Andy Delort who has gone on the record to call the Argentine Neymar’s bodyguard. Despite agitating PSG’s opponents, Paredes is the total opposite on the training grounds and with his teammates.

“He is a happy guy. Even when he was not playing, he was always on the mind,” the PSG official said. “In training, he is monstrous. And the little blows people talk about, he doesn’t do it foolishly. All teams need players like him.”

Some PSG fans are critical of Paredes’ performance at times, whether it’s saying he’s slow or might be a bit too passive with the ball. However, there is a need for a player like him on the pitch. Paredes is capable of contributing at a high level for 90 minutes and he’s far from being a liability on the pitch especially when he’s limiting the number of challenges Neymar has to absorb.

Whatever people might think of his role, players appreciate having someone who has their back. When no one is looking to help PSG, it’s nice having some like Paredes to help keep opponents in line.

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Tags Kylian Mbappé Leandro Paredes Neymar