PSG kicked off their season with a flawless 3-0 win against Nimes last Sunday. Though the victory should kickstart discussions on whether the Parisians will finally get their shit together and make a deep run in the Champions League, the match took a backseat to the Neymar Circus™.
Have there been rumors all summer about Neymar’s status with the club? Yes. Has Neymar expressed his desire to leave Paris? Also yes. Has Leonardo Araujo stated that he’s trying to find the perfect situation for Neymar and the club? Yes again. It’s not a secret that Neymar’s time in Paris is drawing to a close, but this past Sunday felt like the official end to his tenure at PSG.
The Brazilian superstar was not in attendance for the match against Nimes, but that did not stop the supporters from expressing how they felt about the situation. The Parc des Princes was decorated with signs that said things like “Neymar, go away” and other messages to show their disdain for the distraction he has caused. And if you couldn’t read the banners, chants of “Neymar, hjio da puta” or “Neymar son of a bitch” were heard throughout the entire stadium.
Even when the match ended, the Neymar Circus™ continued. The post game interviews seemed to only consist of questions pertaining to the disgruntled superstar. However, Thomas Tuchel and co. did not shy away from questions. Though the supporters seem to be done with Neymar, his manager and teammates seem to want him back.
“He’s still our player, my player, and I protect all of my players,” Tuchel said.
When Kylian Mbappé was asked about the situation he was very frank:
“We’ll try to be competitive,” Mbappé said. ”But we’re not going to fool ourselves. We’ll see what happens. It’ll depend on Neymar’s future. Without him, it wouldn’t be the same.”
The worst part about this whole ordeal is that even though Neymar has declared he won’t play for PSG, he is still PSG’s burden. The club can’t just give away a player they bought for a world record transfer fee. Especially since Neymar hasn’t even completed half of his contract. They need to reach a fair transfer agreement otherwise that €222 million goes to waste.
If Neymar is genuinely unhappy in Paris1Paris!!!, then it’s fair for him to want to leave. But it has only been two years since he arrived and the majority of his time with the club has been marked by injuries. Who knows what could have happened had he been available to play last year when PSG choked away a 2-0 lead to Man United.
I don’t get it. Instead of coming back healthy and ready to prove himself, he has entered this new season content with causing more headaches.
Everyone knows Neymar’s time is up in Paris but no one knows how it will end. All the pressure is on PSG and Leonardo to find a solution, because the longer this drags out, the bigger a distraction it will become. Paris have some serious potential this year with a solidified midfield and a healthy defense. With the right kind of unity and chemistry, they could make a serious run for that Champions League trophy they’ve been dreaming about. But with with this damned Neymar Circus™ in town, it’ll be hard for them to find the necessary focus.