Sometimes you have to know how to take a break and look back. Especially with Neymar, because with him everything goes very quickly, and not only on the pitch. A year ago, therefore, the Brazilian dragged his sentence at the Lodges camp with the intention of joining Barcelona after a transfer that will never materialize. At the time, the Parisian number 10 considered Paris and PSG to be ancient history. And it was not his return to training on July 15, a week late, which indicated otherwise. The strained relationship with Leonardo, the sporting director, seemed to draw an irrevocable exit.
Twelve months later, the decor has radically changed. There is no question of asserting in a peremptory manner that Neymar, 28, is infatuated with Paris to the point of wanting to end his career there. Nobody worthy of faith can say what his future will be made of, even if his entourage considers that the financial arrangement of a transfer, during this summer transfer window, would be difficult to achieve. No, what strikes the spirits and which appeals to the finest connoisseurs of his career is the change in attitude of the Brazilian star.
An attachment to the city of Paris
“It’s a bit as if Neymar had become a follower of more professional and positive communication,” says Joao Henrique Marques, UOL Esporte correspondent in Paris. For a few weeks now, Neymar has been recalling his attachment to the French capital by appearing with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop or more recently in front of the Arc de Triomphe. Images on his social network published with recurrence, such as his agreement with Mbappé and the many smiles displayed in training.
This Thursday, his press service in Brazil even published remarks attributed to him on the end of the season of Paris Saint-Germain. A first since his arrival in Paris where Neymar sets the course and the objectives for the coming weeks. “We have four finals ahead of us. We won the Coupe de France and we have the Coupe de la Ligue, in addition to the three Champions League matches. Each match is a final for us, it’s our state of mind. We always go out onto the pitch to win. The team is confident and united ”, supports the former de Santos.
The head of the Parisian project also establishes a link between his recent performances – where he was decisive in the final of the Coupe de France and in the two matches against Dortmund – and his total involvement in the PSG collective. “It makes sense that the confidence and unity of the team reflects on my individual performance, so I’m even more satisfied,” he said. It is the sum of all of this, the individual performances of each and the strength of the team that will lead us to win titles. “
A player well in his sneakers
It’s not so much the content of those statements as the fact that Neymar kept them that makes sense. Never since his arrival, the number 10 had been displayed at this point as the leader of the Parisian collective. He does it on the field and by small touches outside, as if the absences, possible of Mbappé and certain of Di Maria, suspended, facing Bergamo, invited him there. In the absence of the tricolor world champion, he had already taken matters into his own hands in the round of 16 return against Dortmund (2-0). Scorer and in the service of the collective, he had greatly participated in the qualification of Paris for the quarter-finals showing his joy after the match, as he did again last Friday after the success in the Coupe de France. His first national cup since he was injured in 2018 and defeated against Rennes in 2019.
“I feel he is happy, a bit like this whole group in which they were able to create a great atmosphere. In any case, it makes me happy to see him smile, ”summarizes a former partner of Brazilian number 10 with whom he has kept in touch. His entourage does not say anything else, and describes a player well in his sneakers, and totally turned towards the deadlines to come. Finally freed from his physical glitches, Neymar is doing well. And he decided to let it be known. In pattern size.