Pundit Says Neymar Can Defend Better than Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé

Neymar Jr. is off to an excellent start for Paris Saint-Germain this 2022-23 football season. The 30-year-old has 11 goals and eight assists in 11 appearances in all competitions. 

If this continues, the Brazil international is heading towards a Ballon d’Or type season. Nonetheless, some criticized Neymar and the other two players that make up PSG’s attack, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé, over their defensive efforts.

The trio has to defend, especially in the UEFA Champions League competition, if they want to win the tournament. During a segment on Téléfoot (h/t Canal Supporters), French football pundit Bixente Lizarazu believes Neymar has the desire to defend of the three players. 

Additionally, Lizarazu states that Neymar has the qualities to defend when needed over the other two forwards. 

“He does a little more than the other two,” Lizarazu said. “Messi, I don’t think we’re going to ask him; he’s older. Neymar has the athletic ability to do so. He has a slightly lower position; he can come and help his partners defensively. 

“But the real subject about PSG is when it plays against big teams at the European level, is it with the three attackers, who do not defend, or sometimes they pretend to defend. It’s difficult. So know if you have to play three if you stick with it. In Ligue 1, it’s fine; in the Champions League, I’m not sure. Or if at some point you have to choose to play with only two stars.”

It will be interesting to see if Neymar shows further desire to support the defense and whether Mbappé and Messi could improve their defending as the matches become crucial as the 2022-23 football season progresses. 

Tags Kylian Mbappé Lionel Messi Neymar

2 Comments

  1. Who in his right senses would compare the defensive abilities of Neymar to Messi’s? You expect a 35 year forward to put in the same defensive shift as a 30 year old? Laughable! Mbappe is the one who is lazy, and it’s all because of the power his new contract gives him

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