Why Lionel Messi, Neymar Exit Has Allowed This PSG Superstar to Flourish

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Vitinha was one of the standouts in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie. The Portuguese player scored in the first and second leg against FC Barcelona as he begins to make a name for himself this season. 

After a challenging first season in the French capital, Vitinha has found his footing in Year 2, which this performance against Barcelona showed. France Football journalist Dave Appadoo spoke with Culture PSG and noted why the former FC Porto sensation. 

In the interview, Appadoo states that the departures of Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. have allowed Vitinha to find confidence. Additionally, the player is making plays that he wouldn’t have made a year ago.

“Last year, there was a bit of something that called him into question,” Appadoo told the French media outlet. “And this year, I find that Vitinha has really won on the boss side. I’m going to bring out a little episode on the first leg. At one point, there is a ball recovery. He is in midfield slightly on the left side and Mbappé makes the call in the left half-space. 

“If he puts it, Mbappé goes alone on goal, but he chooses to strike. It wasn’t the best choice, what the game demanded, but it says a lot about the new Vitinha, who is much more confident. He is no longer the player who touched the ball and immediately gave it to Neymar, Messi, or Mbappé. 

“And it’s the same in Marseille on the goal he scores. He has Mbappé on the left and Dembélé on the right. Frankly, six months ago, he gave it to Mbappé every day, even if he was not in the best position. And there, he serves Dembélé so that he gives it to him and he scores behind. These are signs of a new form of autonomy. »

PSG will reportedly look to bolster its midfield this summer transfer window. Nonetheless, the Parisians already have a building block in Vitinha, and if they can land another player or two who gel with him, then the midfield can become the backbone of the team. 

Tags Lionel Messi Neymar Vitinha
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