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Neymar, the age of reason / Champions Trophy / PSG-Nantes /

Thirty since last February, Neymar is no longer the same player as when he arrived in Paris. If he is no longer destined to make YouTube happy every time he touches the ball, the Brazilian can still be of service to Paris Saint-Germain, in a more axial role as many do. wingers once their legs stop moving forward.

on 07/31/2022 at 8:00 p.m.

Champions Trophy

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Unlike Ander Herrera, Layvin Kurzawa, Julian Draxler, Rafinha or even Georginio Wijnaldum, Neymar had the right to travel to Japan to play three friendly matches there and get ippons from Teddy Riner. Unlike his four other teammates, the Brazilian is training with the pro group and does not have to go to Camp des Loges once everyone has left to replay the loft story, without Loana, Jean-Édouard and the immense Aziz. Unlike them, Neymar is also traveling to Tel Aviv where the Champions Trophy is being played against Nantes. However, as with the five lofters, Paris Saint-Germain would certainly have listened to a transfer offer if it had arrived on the table from Luis Campos and Antero Henrique. Except that it never arrived, or the destination was not satisfactory for Neymar. Because football is not the NBA, where a player can be transferred to the other side of the country without having a say, the captain of the Selection has decided to stay in the capital, even activating a clause allowing him to be under contract until 2027. To the delight of his new coach, who had affirmed his desire to see him stay from his first conference Press : “Obviously I want Neymar to stay, because when you have world-class players, it’s better to have them with you than against you. » Due to his age, his contract, his salary, his recurring injuries, Neymar should therefore stay a few more years in the capital. So much to do with him, by putting him in the best possible conditions. There is worse, as a problem.

Divide and rule

It’s nothing new, Neymar is a divisive player. On the one hand, there are those who get excited over a dribble and a nice pass against a Japanese team in a friendly and who affirm loud and clear that “this year is the right one” . Too bad if this same sentence has been uttered by these same people every summer since the arrival of the Brazilian in Paris, in 2017. On the other side, there are those who protest against a pseudo simulation against Gamba Osaka , pretending to discover that Neymar adds as soon as he is touched, and which make the Brazilian look like a vulgar Everton after each bad performance on his part.

In the middle of this melee, there is absolutely no one. As if it were impossible to be measured on the case of the former Barça. However, Neymar’s last years proved that it was good to qualify his words. Yes, PSG are better when the Brazilian is in top form, as the Final 8 of the 2020 Champions League. No, PSG cannot count on him for an entire season due to his recurring injuries and frequent slack. Above all, no offense to the nostalgic, Neymar is no longer this agile, fast and dribbling player ronaldinhesques who has fun on his wing and whose every match can be the subject of a YouTube compilation. However, that does not mean that he has become an ordinary player. It is also neither the first nor the last to have to change his game because of a different age and physique.

Middle earth

In a Facebook live, on the sidelines of the start of the school year, Neymar warned: “This season, all shots will come in, free kicks, headers. I feel good. I’m confident ! I trained a lot during my vacation. » It is true that the Brazilian came back sharper than usual from his month of rest. And even a week earlier, as the club asked him. However, that does not mean that he will regain his 20-year-old legs. This is good, with the three-man defense put in place by Christophe Galtier, Neymar will be less likely to overflow on one side since the two wings will be monopolized by the pistons Nuno Mendes and Achraf Hakimi. The Brazilian will then have all the freedom in the world to get into the axis and launch one of the three locomotives, including Kylian Mbappé. A role that is closer to the one he occupies with the Selection where he evolves in the axis in playmaker or false 9. And where he shines.

Moreover, his coach Tite quickly understood that Neymar should no longer play on one side as he said in the podcast. Sexta Estrela from Globo Sports: “If a coach lines up Neymar on one side, I’ll call him a donkey. It considerably restricts the creative capacity of a player who has these qualities. » Because if the Brazilian no longer has the legs to ride on one side, he still has his art of the pass, which will make him, in the future, a formidable registered. It is therefore in a more axial role that Neymar approaches this new season. And especially with less responsibility on the shoulders. Because since his XXL extension this summer, all eyes have been on Kylian Mbappé, who will be the leader of this team. And obviously, the new boss has accepted that the Brazilian stays by his side for one more season. He must be one of those who think this year is the right one for Neymar.

By Steven Oliveira


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