After months of confinement in Brazil due to the coronavirus pandemic, Neymar Jr. has returned to Paris and waiting for training to resume on June 22.
The last time we saw the Paris Saint-Germain superstar on the pitch was on March 11, when he scored a brilliant diving header against Borussia Dortmund in the Round of 16. His two goals over the two legs helped see the Ligue 1 champions past the Germans and into the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time since 2016.
Soon after though, the Champions League was suspended as the coronavirus spread across Europe. With the number of cases on the decline and every top league in Europe (except Ligue 1) planning to finish the 2019-20 season, it’s expected that the most prestigious tournament in club football will return in August.
The plan, according to unofficial reports, is to wrap up the remaining Round of 16 matches and then play a final eight tournament in Lisbon, Portugal. A single-elimination format will be favored over the traditional two-legged ties.
In an article from L’Equipe about Neymar’s return to Paris, the 28-year-old is said to have told Lucas Lima, the Palmeiras midfielder who was in confinement with Neymar in Brazil, that he is motivated for the conclusion of the Champions League and that the proposed format change appealed to him. Neymar also has a strong belief that this could be PSG’s year, which is indicated by his decision to come back to Paris early (before July 15) and not risk having to be quarantined for 14 days.
PSG will have to go five months between Champions League matches but with a healthy and motivated Neymar, the capital club has to be one of the favorites to win their first title in club history.
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