Despite Neymar’s absence for the final half an hour, PSG ran out 1-0 winners over Caen thanks to Moise Kean’s 49th minute effort.
Neymar was forced off with injury after an hour during PSG’s French Cup victory over Caen on Wednesday evening – just six days before his side’s Champions League clash with Barcelona.
The Brazil forward – who has 13 goals in 17 appearances in all competitions this season – is due to face his former side Barcelona on Tuesday 16 February in the first leg of the pair’s Champions League last 16 tie. No time scale has yet been given for his return.
As reported by journalist Jonathan Johnson, Neymar went down with a left adductor problem on the 60 minute mark with PSG leading 1-0.
He was replaced by Kylian Mbappe, before heading straight down the tunnel towards the dressing room.
Despite Neymar’s absence for the final half an hour, PSG ran out 1-0 winners over Caen thanks to Moise Kean’s 49th minute effort.
PSG play Niice in Ligue 1 on Saturday 13 February, before the trip to Camp Nou to face Barcelona three days later. Their last 16 second leg against Ronald Koeman’s side at the Parc de Princes is not until 10 March.
Neymar has been prolific in the Champions League this season, netting six goals in five appearances.
Like Kylian Mbappe — who recently scored his 100th PSG goal — Neymar’s contract runs until 2022 but PSG are hopeful the duo will sign new terms.
Neymar played a leading part in the unprecedented anti-racism protest which saw Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir players leave the field in their Champions League match this week, and the Brazilian has also been living up to his status as the world’s most expensive player in recent weeks.
The former Barcelona superstar’s hat-trick in PSG’s 5-1 win over the Turks when the game restarted a day later included two goals that were simply out of this world.
Neymar had previously scored the winner against RB Leipzig and a brace in the 3-1 victory at Manchester United and his goals allowed the French champions to finish top of an awkward Champions League group.
He explained the decision to walk off in protest at the alleged use of a racist term by one of the Romanian match officials was something that “needed to be done to see if the world can change a little”. The images of him kneeling, with a clenched fist raised, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement were powerful.
PSG supporters would also have been encouraged to hear the 28-year-old stress he is happy in Paris, a week after creating headlines by admitting he wanted to be on the same team as Lionel Messi next season.
“I am very happy here in Paris, at the club, with my teammates, so the idea of leaving is not going through my head, but people need things to talk about,” he told broadcaster RMC Sport.
“I am really happy and settled so let’s see what happens in the future.”
“We have started talking. It is all confidential but we are confident, both of them want to stay,” said PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi.
Mbappe and Neymar, who has scored or set up 65 goals in 65 Champions League matches, will lead PSG into a top-of-the-table Ligue 1 clash at home to in-form Lyon on Sunday.
The defending champions are top but the five teams below them are all within five points, with Lyon two points behind the leaders.
Player to watch: Angel di Maria Forget Neymar and Mbappe, Di Maria was PSG’s best player in the last, curtailed French season. In fact, he has probably been their standout performer since the two most expensive signings in history arrived in August 2017.
However, the Argentine has lost his place in recent weeks. His only start in PSG’s last four games came when PSG fielded a second-string XI at Montpellier. In the win at Manchester United not only did he not come on, but he was also at one stage stripped for action only to be sent back to his seat.
Out of contract at the end of this season — a situation that has put the 32-year-old’s future in the spotlight — Di Maria will hope for a recall against Lyon.
Key stats 5 – Marseille has won their last five Ligue 1 games. Four points behind leaders PSG, they are on course to top the table if they win their two games in hand, but they face a tough test against Monaco on Saturday.
13 – After finishing 13th last season, Nantes this week parted company with coach Christian Gourcuff with the Canaries taking just 13 points from their first 13 games in this campaign. The eight-time French champions became the fourth club to change coach this season. One of the others, bottom side Dijon, are their opponents this weekend.
10 – Lyon is unbeaten in 10 games as they search for a first win at the Parc des Princes since 2007.
Fixtures (Kick-offs GMT)
Saint-Etienne v Angers (2000)
Marseille v Monaco (1600), Lens v Montpellier (2000)
Nice v Rennes (1200), Brest v Reims, Lorient v Nimes, Nantes v Dijon, Strasbourg v Metz (all 1400), Lille v Bordeaux (1600), Paris Saint-Germain v Lyon (2000)
Barcelona have a genuine dilemma with Ousmane Dembele. No one doubts his incredible ability but injuries and a passive attitude have heled him back at the club. The Frenchman is still recovering from his latest injury and won’t be ready until next season. The club have taken care of him, aware he could be a key player, but they won’t close the door on an exit.
Paris Saint-Germain, in that sense, could be important. The French club want more French players in their squad and are interested in the winger — which could play into Barça’s hands when negotiating for Neymar.
Dembele would be a risky signing. His muscle injuries have been continual and serious. But PSG are convinced he can move on from them. In Paris, they are up to date on his recovery and believe, like Barça, they’re related to his growth. From now on, there’s a belief that things will stabilise and he will able to play more consistently.
He is still young and has a long career ahead of him. PSG wanted to bet on him last summer and his name was on the table in talks for Neymar to bring the cost down. PSG boss, Thomas Tichel, knows him well from his time at Borussia Dortmund and knows that he can get the best from him and help him develop.
In addition, PSG are one of the few clubs that can pay his salary, which is around 10 million euros net per season. Barça are aware of the interest but won’t make any move. Despite reports in France and Italy saying Dembele is on the market. the reality is Barça have not offered him out. It’s about waiting because he will not be fit again until August.
Dembele’s exit won’t be seen as too traumatic if it’s related with Neymar’s return. And, in addition, it would make space for La Masia graduates like Ansu Fati or Alex Volado. In fact, Ansu is already ahead of Dembele and could become a star if he’s given minutes on the pitch. It remains to be seen what PSG will do and if they would be open to swapping for Neymar, who will once again be at the centre of any talks.
Robert Moreno, Luis Enrique’s former assistant at Barcelona and current boss of Monaco, claims to know that Neymar is wanted back at Camp Nou in the next transfer window.
Rumours linking the Brazil international with a retracing of his steps to Catalunya surfaced almost the moment that he linked up with Paris Saint-Germain in a record-breaking deal.
Three years have been spent in the French capital, but Barca remain keen on returning a former favourite to familiar surroundings.
Those efforts have so far come to nothing, but interest is expected to be rekindled.
Moreno says that will be the case, with the ex-Spain manager admitting that he can understand why the Blaugrana would want to re-sign a player that he once worked with during a glittering era of success under Luis Enrique.
“I would re-sign Neymar for Barcelona,” Moreno told El Transistor.
“In the end, Barcelona have to have the best players in the world and Neymar is one of them, a player who makes the difference.
“Furthermore, he makes his team-mates play.
“I know for sure that they want him.”
Moreno is currently keeping an eye on events at Camp Nou from afar, with his focus locked on a high-profile post at Monaco.
Their 2019-20 campaign has been brought to an abrupt halt, with the decision taken not to resume competitive action in Ligue 1 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
That call has not been universally well received, with Monaco being left with a ninth-place finish, but Moreno is looking to take positives from a testing situation.
He added: “On one hand, we didn’t like it because we didn’t agree on the standings and we’ve been left out of Europe, but it’s given some certainty because [the French government] has extended the measures [of banning sport] until July.
“That allows us to start pre-season in July and start the league at the end of August.”
Moreno only took the reins at Monaco in December 2019, as he succeeded Leonardo Jardim, with a first coaching post taken up since being forced to make way for the return of Luis Enrique as manager of the Spain national side.
Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? It’s the question that has defined a decade of football; the cause of innumerable arguments across the globe.
In the age of social media, you are not allowed to appreciate both. You have to pick one or the other. And whom you chose apparently tells you a lot about how you view the game. As Luis Figo famously argued, it really is a question of taste: “It’s like choosing between white truffle or caviar.”
Indeed, the one thing that everyone agrees on is that both are incredible; both belong in the conversation on the best player of all time. They are, after all, responsible for an unprecedented rivalry in the history of the game: two all-time greats on opposite sides of the Clasico divide for nine years, pushing one another to scale even greater heights.
As Messi himself told DAZN: “It was a duel that will last forever because it went on for many years, and it isn’t easy to keep at your highest level for so long – especially at those two clubs we were at, which were so demanding, in Real Madrid and Barcelona, the best clubs in the world.
“Competing head to head for so many years will be remembered forever. The sporting rivalry between us was very nice on a personal level. I think that the fans also enjoyed it, be they Madrid or Barca supporters, or just those who like football.”
It is not over yet, of course. Ronaldo and Messi may be 35 and 32, respectively, but they have yet to show any real signs of letting up. The Portuguese may have changed teams, leaving Real for Juventus in 2018, but the rivalry with Messi endures; the debate rages on – at least among their most ardent supporters.
When Ronaldo transferred to Turin, his fans followed. Juventus’ social media numbers skyrocketed, highlighting this new phenomenon of some supporters prioritising players over clubs. These very modern consumers of football have a favourite player – not a favourite team, which begs a far more pressing question than Messi or Ronaldo: What happens after the pair retire?
Will football lose followers? The two greatest protagonists in the most absorbing drama of the past decade will have left the stage – will some of the audience leave before the next act? After all, how could anything top what has gone before?
Ronaldo and Messi have distorted our perceptions of what is possible on a football field, making the extraordinary, ordinary. They have altered our idea of what constitutes an excellent goal-scoring season. Anything less than 50 goals a season could, in future, be construed as underwhelming.
And that is the key here: consistency.
“They’ve done it for so long,” Spanish football writer Andy West told Goal. “They’ve barely taken a week off. They’ve both had the physical fitness to play 40 or 50 games a year. Neither of them have really had serious injuries problems, which is amazing in itself. If you go back over the history of the game, there are very, very few players who are able to sustain that excellence for so long.
“Even if you look at players just from my lifetime, such as the Brazilian Ronaldo, he was the best player in the world at his peak, but he had so many injury problems that meant he was only at his greatest for a short period of time.
“They’ve not given anybody else has had a look in. There have been lots and lots of great players over the past decade who would have previously had a claim on being the best player in the world but they’ve not even been close. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. Nobody has been close to the level of Messi and Ronaldo.”
Hazard and Neymar? Not even someone like Eden Hazard. The Belgium international was one of the best players in the world for years, lighting up the Premier League with his wing wizardry at Chelsea. However, even Hazard has admitted that he is simply incapable of matching Ronaldo and Messi’s numbers, as so painfully underlined by the 29-year-old’s form and fitness issues in his first year at Real Madrid.
“I often ask myself what I can do to become like Messi and Ronaldo and get 50 or 60 goals in a season,” he confessed to Sport/Foot. I try, of course, but I realise that I will never be a true goalscorer like them. It’s not in me. It is mainly mental: at 2-0, not thinking that is enough for example. Sometimes I still think after a goal, ‘That’s enough.’
“I’m not in search of records like some other players – if I can score between 15 and 20 goals each season, I will be very happy.”
One could never imagine Messi or Ronaldo being content with such a tally.
Of course, for the sake of narrative, they are portrayed as polar opposites: Messi is the quiet, unassuming genius who puts the team first; Ronaldo the self-made goal-scoring machine who takes as much pride in his appearance as his records. Both are crude caricatures, which do both a disservice. Messi can be as ruthless as Ronaldo; Ronaldo can be as magnanimous as Messi.
In addition, they are bound not only by brilliance but also determination, an inner drive that has seen both make the absolute most of their considerable skills.
Which is perhaps why Neymar is no longer the favourite to step into the spotlight when Messi and Ronaldo bow out. There have never been any doubts over the Brazilian’s ability but his level of focus has long been a cause for concern.
Neymar’s situation has hardly improved in the interim. If anything, that storm has only worsened. As has his physical condition.
Since moving to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record fee in 2017, Neymar has been blighted by injuries and ill-discipline. At 28, his career path now looks more likely to follow that of Ronaldinho than Ronaldo, having, thus far, failed to strike the perfect balance between sporting and commercial growth.
Time For Mbappe and Haaland? But what about the next generation? Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland are considered the frontrunners to fill the void that Messi and Ronaldo will leave behind. Both are extraordinary young talents.
Mbappe is the only man other than Pele to have scored in a World Cup final as a teenager; Haaland is the youngest player in history to score 10 Champions League goals, having reached that mark in just seven matches.
Their potential is as obvious as it is enormous. Questions remain, of course. Can they sustain their fine form? Will they avoid serious injuries? Will they be as dedicated to their profession as Messi and Ronaldo?
Both are considered colourful characters. Haaland’s former Red Bull Salzburg team-mate Maximilian Wober described the Norwegian to Goal as “crazy insane” yet recalled how the striker would spend his time on away trips “reading scientific articles on who he could improve his sleep pattern or diet” while the rest of the team were playing cards.
In a similar vein, Mbappe once skipped a party in honour of Monaco’s shock 2016-17 Ligue 1 title triumph so that he could get enough rest to be in peak physical condition for the following day’s training session. The Frenchman was only a teenager back then, though, and there having been growing concerns about his allegedly egotistical behaviour since being taken under Neymar’s wing in Paris, as underlined by his recent spats with PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.
Mbappe has admitted himself that he is “not a hard worker” but is still regarded by journalists who follow the French league and national team closely as someone who simply loves playing football. As long as he retains that passion for the game, he should – like Haaland – continue to rack up record after record.
Of course, it would be unfair to expect anyone to equal Messi or Ronaldo’s remarkable strike-rates. Or carry the game into a new era, for that matter. Besides, it’s not as if the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry has been the only show in town over the past 10 to 15 years.
Messi has never played in the Premier League, while Ronaldo left in 2009 – yet the English top-flight is by some distance the most watched and, consequently, the richest championship in club football. There are, of course, many reasons for its global popularity: the sheer pace of the game separates it from its European rivals; what it loses in quality, it makes up for in frenzied entertainment.
In addition, the almost total absence of running tracks around its pitches only accentuates the raucous atmosphere generated by the massive and passionate crowds found with its modern stadia. England changed its practices and image following the Heysel and Hillsborough tragedies of the 1980s, and reaped the rewards.
With the advent of the Premier League in 1992, English football became a perfectly packaged product expertly sold to audiences across the globe by BSkyB and, in turn, the further riches bestowed upon clubs by the sale of overseas TV rights enabled the acquisition of some of the most talented and charismatic characters in football. All of this, coupled with the sport’s innate capacity for unscripted drama, made the Premier League compelling viewing.
Essentially, football faces a far more pressing concern than the imminent retirement of two living legends, with the Covid-19 pandemic having plunged the game into financial crisis that represents a very real existential threat for clubs and leagues across the world.
By its very nature, though, football is a simple game. Its popularity will not be dimmed by the pandemic; if anything, it may be enhanced by it, as people become even more appreciative of a sport that can be played by anyone with a ball.
So, if football can survive Covid-19, it can survive the loss of Messi and Ronaldo. The show will go on. But so too will the debate over who was better: Messi or Ronaldo?
There will never be an agreement, of course, but that is beside the point.
As Messi says, his rivalry with Ronaldo is a duel that will last forever.
Paris Saint-Germain and Neymar are back on the same page once again, though perhaps forced because of circumstances.
In essence two factors have come together at the same time, the coronavirus pandemic and the Barcelona boardroom crisis, which mean it’ll be at least one more year before the Brazilian star can make a comeback at the Camp Nou.
PSG are aware that it’ll be practically impossible for Neymar to leave in the summer as they watch the institutional crisis envelope Barcelona, with an offer not expected to arrive for some time, or one that will not match up to the demands from the Qatari owners in Paris.
There is no release clause in Neymar’s contract, nor is the price 165 million euros set by FIFA as Wagner Ribeiro stated.
While it is true the player can buy himself out of his contract this summer, Barcelona will need to tread carefully and assess whether or not it’s worth going to war with Nasser al Khelaifi and his club, by taking such an unusual measure.
Neymar signed his contract with PSG on August 3, 2017, and FIFA regulations give a protected period of three years from the day the deal was inked, so in the event the contract is broken, compensation can be set by FIFA, as well as disciplinary sanctions.
These could include giving a club a two-year transfer ban, while the footballer could be suspended from playing for up to six months.
As of August 3, 2020, Neymar could therefore break his contract and sign for another team, and if there is no agreement between those two sides, PSG would then have to start a procedure with FIFA in order to claim payment, which is usually the remaining salary on the contract.
Last season, PSG didn’t accept an offer from Barcelona and as MARCA reported on Sunday, the Catalans would look to include players in any deal, though that never worked a year ago either.
Most experts expect the transfer fees in the summer window to be significantly reduced in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, thus it would be strange for PSG to accept a lower offer for their superstar player, and could wait one more season for normality to return.
Finally, in recent months PSG and Neymar have become a little closer with the club delighted with the commitment shown by the player, particularly in the Champions League comeback against Borussia Dortmund.
The rest of the squad have made it clear, via Ander Herrera and coach Thomas Tuchel, that Neymar is a leader in the dressing room, more so then Kylian Mbappe.
Right now, PSG are dealing with Neymar’s entourage in a more calm manner, than they are with Mbappe’s, who has a deal until 2022 and is yet to sign a renewal with Real Madrid waiting in the wings.
Neymar himself has also nodded to the club and his teammates from lockdown in Brazil, with statements from the player being released. “I miss football, I miss PSG and my teammates,” he has said.
Neymar’s mother, Nadine Goncalves, has sumped her 23-year-old toyboy, Tiago Ramo, a few weeks after their relationship became public knowledge.
Nadine had publicly disclosed her romantic relationship with 23-year-old Tiago Ramos but she reportedly ended the relationship after discovering that he had dated various men prior to their first meeting.
Tiago who is six years younger than Neymar allegedly dated the PSG and Brazil star’s personal chef Mauro and a famous Brazilian actor and stand-up comedian, Carlinhos Maia.
NobleReporters learnt that the toyboy is back with his family in Brazil after being kicked out of Nadine’s mansion. He posted a video on Instagram of himself playing a computer game with his mother and sister on Wednesday, April 22.
O Dia reporter, Fabia Oliveira also claimed Nadine had been urged by her family to end the brief romance before eventually doing so. Nadine was married to Neymar’s father and agent, Wagner Ribeiro for 25 years – but they split up in 2016.
There is no doubt that Neymar is FC Barcelona’s number one priority when the transfer window reopens. Lautaro Martinez is also on that list but the Brazilian remains the one everybody wants at Barça. The club knows it won’t be easy, and even less so during a global crisis, but the sporting department wants to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou.
Barça are keeping an eye on developments and will be interested to see what Neymar does once he’s back in France. Ultimately, it comes down to what Neymar says and does. If the Brazilian informs PSG he won’t sign a new contract and wants to leave in the summer, only then will Camp Nou officials push hard to complete a deal.
Neymar only has two years to run on his deal and PSG are desperate to keep hold of both him and Mbappe this summer.
They’ve offered Ney a bumper contract to extend his stay in Paris until 2025 but, at the moment, talks have stalled. Neymar is expected to return to France on the 11th May as preparations begin to complete the current season.
It’s no secret that negotiating with PSG is never easy. The first step would be for Neymar to turn down the renewal as that might force PSG into selling their star man as soon as possible before his value drops. There is talk of the transfer window being open from August until January which would mean negotiations could drag on for months yet.
Barça have learnt from previous negotiations with PSG that they can’t make the first move. Neymar must do that. If the player then gave his word that he wanted to re-sign for Barça, then comes the complicated part of agreeing on a transfer fee.
The coronavirus outbreak means that €100m+ fees are out of the question, something which PSG have demanded in the past.
A previous option was Neymar taking his situation to FIFA. Due to the fact he has completed three years of his deal, he would be able to essentially force his exit should a club match his current valuation.
However that would mean the buying club would need to stump up €170m in one payment and that’s simply impossible. Barça must reach an agreement with PSG and are ready to offer players in exchange, just as they did last summer.
PSG, via their director of football Leonardo, are interested in Samuel Umtiti, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho, Nelson Semedo and Ivan Rakitic. Barça felt PSG were asking for too much money last summer and hope that an agreement can be reached in a move similar to that of a trade deal in American sports
The first step would be Neymar informing PSG he won’t sign a new contract. Then, the existing Champions League campaign must reach its conclusion. With that very loosely pencilled in for the middle of August, early September, it’s a transfer deal which is going to run for a while yet.
Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi would reportedly prefer to rekindle his partnership with Neymar than for the club to sign Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan in the summer.
A club source reportedly told Spanish Radio station Cadena Ser: ‘If he had to choose between Lautaro and Neymar, it’s obvious Leo Messi prefers the Brazilian.’
Neymar was at Barcelona between 2013-2017, and enjoyed a good amount of success alongside Messi and Luis Suarez, scoring 105 goals.
He moved to PSG for a world-record fee, however has been linked with a sensational move back to the Nou Camp in recent months with Barca looking for a long-term replacement for Suarez.
However, he would be taking a staggering £26million pay cut to make the move, with PSG set to offer the Brazilian £44million-per-year to encourage him to stay in Paris.
Barcelona are also linked with Lautaro Martinez, but thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, there are questions over their finances.
Buying out his £97million release clause looks to be out of the question, with the club now offering Inter the likes of Nelson Semedo and Carles Alena as part of a deal.
With both Neymar and Martinez high on the transfer targets list, but possibly without the money to get them both, Barcelona chiefs appear to have a decision to make.
Messi isn’t part of the transfer process at the club, but it’s likely the star will be consulted on the matter.
If he prefers Neymar, it would be bad news for Martinez, who is keen for a move to the La Liga club.
Neymar’s salary could be less than half that of PSG if he returns to Barcelona this summer, according to today’s cover of Mundo Deportivo.
The Spanish newspaper reports that ‘Neymar would charge half’ on Tuesday’s cover, and claims that the €52m that Neymar earns at PSG between his salary and bonuses, but it would be a little more than €20m at Barca.
MD believes although the Brazilian superstar would incorporate incentives according to his performance, but if he returns to Barca, he would not do it for money.
According to earlier reports, the signing of Neymar is complicated, but far from being ruled out as his environment is already planning a new strategy to negotiate with Barca.
Given the result of the previous negotiation, Neymar’s environment wants to take a new direction in the negotiation, moving away from the media noise and negotiating with Barça in a more silent way, reducing any type of speculation.
The Neymar clan wants to avoid what happened in the previous transfer market with those trips by Barça executives to Paris, the leaking of names of players that could be included in operations.
Barca’s priority is still Lautaro, but Neymar’s environment is optimistic knowing that Bartomeu is crazy to sign him.
– Jadon Sancho is linked with a Premier League move this close season. But The Sun reports the Borussia Dortmund star is ready to reject Manchester United if they fail to secure a spot in the Champions League. United were fifth in the Premier League when the season was suspended.
– Mauro Icardi’s future remains uncertain. Corriere dello Sport reports Icardi will leave PSG, where he is on loan from Inter, at the end of the season and Juventus are once again interested.
– With Manchester United again seemingly interested in Matthijs de Ligt, a swap deal could be on the cards. The Sun reports United are ready to swap Paul Pogba – who has been linked with a return to Juventus – for defender De Ligt.
– It may not be the only swap deal involving a Manchester club and Juventus. The Sun says Juve are ready to offer Douglas Costa to Manchester City in a bid to land Gabriel Jesus.
– Barcelona were reportedly prepared to use Junior Firpo in a deal to sign Inter star Lautaro Martinez, but the left-back could head elsewhere. Sport reports Napoli are the most recent club to contact Barca over Junior’s availability.
Neymar has been revealed as the anonymous donor who gave 5 million Brazilian real (£775,000/$950,000) to charity to fight coronavirus.
The Paris Saint-Germain star split the donation between UNICEF and a benefit fund in his home nation of Brazil to aid in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Neymar had made the generous gesture without putting his name to it, however, Brazilian television channel SBT revealed that the national team striker had made the donation.
The revelation was made on SBT programme Fofocolizando, which said: “He preferred not to publicly disclose the donation, so we’re telling everyone, because we like to talk when a person does something nice.
“We have this information, we really think it’s a very cool, very positive attitude, and one that serves as an incentive for other sportsmen, for other personalities.”
It comes as teams and players around the world make gestures and donations in the battle against coronavirus, including forgoing large parts of their salaries to either donate to charity or ensure non-playing members of club staff are not laid off, with football postponed around the world to try and stop the virus spreading.
On Thursday, Atletico Madrid players agreed to take a 70 per cent pay cut in order to support the wages of other employees, following the example set by Neymar’s former club Barcelona .
In Germany, Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich says players have “a responsibility” to help , and with team-mate Leon Goretzka has set up a fund called ‘ We Kick Corona ‘, which has already raised more than €3.7m.
In England, pressure has been put on footballers to make similar gestures, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying players need to “do their bit”, although this has drawn criticism from figures in the game including Gary Lineker and Gary Neville .
Lineker’s former side Tottenham have been criticised for cutting the salaries of 550 non-playing staff members , despite owner Joe Lewis having a reported net worth of over £4.3 billion ($5.3bn).
However, other players have been praised for their charitable efforts, such as Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford who has been helping provide free meals for schoolchildren in the city.
Neymar Shake Hands With David Beckham on Inter Miami Deal…..But He’s Not Going yet…
The January transfer window has come and gone, and rumours surrounding Neymar’s future were unusually scarce.
But little did we realise, the Paris Saint-Germain forward was about to drop one of the biggest transfer videos since Antoine Griezmann’s ‘The Decision Part II’ was cancelled.
But who has Neymar agreed to join? I hear you ask.
Real Madrid? Barcelona? Manchester City?
Wrong, wrong and wrong again. The superstar has shocked the football world by agreeing a deal to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami…in ten years time.
That’s right people, no need to panic just yet. Neymar isn’t jetting off to MLS next week, but in a video released on Youtube by Otro, the 28-year-old shook hands on a move to Beckham’s American franchise at the end of his career.
In the opening exchanges, the ex-Manchester United star tells Neymar that he’ll make him sign ‘a blank piece of paper’, which will be a ‘contract for Miami’, as the pair laugh at opposite ends of a long table.
“I’m going to get you to sign a piece of paper after. A blank piece of paper. And it’s going to be a contract for Miami, for ten years time,” Beckham jokes.
Neymar da Silva
Neymar chuckles, before saying ‘deal’, and the pair shake hands on this extraordinary agreement. The Brazil star goes on to confess how much he admires his future employer, describing the former midfielder as a ‘great inspiration.’
“And I always followed David (Beckham) because of the way he kicked the ball, because of the amazing passes he gave, because of his goals, because of his determination on the pitch.
“I respect you very much because you made your career, and you are still making it, so you are a great inspiration to me.”
Not only is Becks an inspiration on the pitch, but Neymar also revealed that the winger was the catalyst behind some of his own recent hair styles, too. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment to David, really.
“I think everything coming from David, I will take and incorporate in me. I copied quite a few of his haircuts!”
A match made in heaven, it seems.
So it appears that Neymar will be staying on our European shores for the time being, at least. But I think we can all agree that this is a collaboration we should all get behind.
PSG will play Nantes on Tuesday, although they will do so without Neymar, amongst others. The Brazilan seemed to suffer a knock to the ribs and didn’t make the squad.
A knock that didn’t prevent him from enjoying his birthday party on Sunday.
He isn’t the only PSG player missing for this match but without doubt the most significant. Because, once more, it is an absence due to injury that raises suspicions.
Neymar had a strange attitude in the last match against Montpellier. He went crazy when he was shown a yellow card, and maintained a belligerent attitude for the rest of the match.
It doesn’t seem possible that he was looking to get sent off, to miss the match during the week. But he will miss it due to injury. PSG have announced the squad list and Neymar appears with the injured players.
The official part explains that he is suffering from a “chondrocostal injury”, which he sustained in the first half of the match against Montpellier, and which has been confirmed by the medical tests which were carried out on him on Monday.
Neymar will celebrate his birthday in a Paris club on Sunday, a ‘distraction’ two days ahead of a Ligue 1 trip to Nantes, according to Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel.
French sports daily L’Equipe reported that the event would take place in a western Paris club and that the PSG players and a few members of the staff had been invited by the Brazilian, who turns 28 on Wednesday, reports Reuters.
“The substitution of Kylian or Ney’s birthday are distractions, it gives the impression that we are not serious,” Tuchel was quoted as saying by L’Equipe on Sunday.
On Saturday, France striker Kylian Mbappe showed his frustration when he was replaced in the 70th minute of a 5-0 win against nine-man Montpellier.
On Neymar’s birthday, Tuchel added: “It gives the impression that we are not 100% focused and professional.
“But things are not either black or white. They become important when we talk about them a lot.”
Neymar dedicated his second goal in Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-0 win at Lille on Sunday to basketball legend Kobe Bryant, whose death on Sunday in a helicopter crash shocked the world.
The Brazilian slotted home the 52nd-minute penalty that put PSG two goals up in the French Ligue 1 clash and went over to the television cameras by the side of the Stade Pierre Mauro pitch to make the number 24 with his fingers in honour of Bryant’s shirt number.
“It’s deeply saddening for the world of sport and for all of us,” said Neymar to Canal+ after the win, which put PSG 10 points clear at the top of the league.
“Not just for basketball fans, but for everything he did for the sport.”
Bryant, who had been nominated for the NBA Hall of Fame in December, was confirmed dead at 41 years old on Sunday after a helicopter crashed and burst into flames in foggy conditions in suburban Los Angeles, leaving five people dead.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said there were no survivors from the morning crash on a rugged hillside in Calabasas, west of LA.
In an email, Mayor of Calabasas Alicia Weintraub confirmed Bryant was among the victims.