In an interview with Europe 1 (via Paris Fans), Esporte Interativo journalist Isabela Pagliari on the mentality Neymar Jr. has heading into Paris Saint-Germain’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal matchup versus Atalanta BC.
Pagliari mentions that the 28-year-old was the second-best player behind Marco Verratti in the Coupe de la Ligue win over Olympique Lyonnais.
However, she adds that Neymar seemed like he was preserving himself for the match against La Dea. She was saying that the Brazil international wasn’t looking for contact with his duels.
“After Marco Verratti, Neymar was the best player in this Coupe de la Ligue final against Lyon. He made good passes, but his teammates Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi were not up to the task,” Pagliari said.
“I think he missed his relationship with Kylian Mbappé. Neymar was not, however, in contact and duels, he preserved himself because he thinks of the Champions League. But he no longer has the traumas of recent seasons of being injured at the crucial moment for Paris Saint-Germain.”
Furthermore, she states that this is the first time Neymar will play in a quarter-finals matchup with PSG. That’s adding extra motivation and ready to put everything on the line to help Les Parisiens win a Champions League.
“This is the first time he’s going to play a Champions League quarter-final with PSG, so it’s very important for him,” Pagliari said. “He is ready to play against Atalanta. He is hot, very motivated. He has put everything to go to the end and help PSG to win this Champions League.”
With the likelihood of Verratti and Mbappé playing limited minutes, the capital club will hope for Neymar to carry them past Atalanta. If there’s one player who can influence a single-game knockout match, it’s Neymar.
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