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We had a very strong team but unfortunately we didn’t fit in, says Neymar

Owing to their poor performances in continental football, Messi and Neymar are at receiving end of PSG fans’ ire and Brazilian has now spoken about their struggles

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 21.07.23, 07:39 AM
(From left) The PSG trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in November 2021.

(From left) The PSG trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in November 2021. File photo

Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

It was supposed to be one of the most lethal attacking tridents in the world who would toy with any defence.


However, the famous trio failed to conquer Europe during the two seasons they played together at Paris Saint-Germain and were ousted in the round-of-16 on both occasions after losing to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, respectively.

Owing to their poor performances in continental football, Messi and Neymar were at the receiving end of the PSG fans’ ire and the Brazilian has now spoken about their struggles.

“We had a very strong team. Messi, Mbappe and I are three guys who are the best in the world. We knew it, but unfortunately, we didn’t fit in. It wasn’t good for us,” Neymar told in an interview with a YouTuber.

However, he insisted that they wanted to “win everything” but “football is sometimes not the right thing, the fair thing”.

Despite having a contract until 2027, there has been speculation that the Brazilian might be on his way out of PSG with significant interest from the Premier League and Saudi Arabia. However, Neymar insisted that he hopes to continue at the French capital next season and wants to play well after getting back to action following a successful recovery from his ankle injury.

“I have a contract. Until now nobody has informed me otherwise. I want to recover well. Winning is always my goal, but I want to play well again, that’s the first thing,” he said.

Qatar heartbreak

Neymar said he “cried for five days straight” after Brazil’s 2022 World Cup exit and added that he considered international retirement after their quarter final defeat to Croatia.

Neymar, 31, hasn’t played for his country since the penalty shootout loss on December 9.

Neymar put Brazil ahead with what looked like the winning goal in extra time before Croatia levelled with three minutes remaining and went on to win the shootout to progress to the semi-finals.

“I can’t tell you what went through my head,” Neymar said. “It was the most painful defeat of my career, for sure. I cried for five straight days. It hurt me a lot that my dream had turned to nothing.

“I’d have preferred not to have scored the goal, for it to stay 0-0 and lose on penalties, rather than ‘I scored the goal, they equalised and we lost on penalties.’ It’s a pain that only the players and staff can understand.

“It was the worst moment of my life. It felt like a funeral, someone crying on one side of you, someone else crying on the other. It was horrible, a feeling I don’t want to experience again.”

Neymar said he had contemplated international retirement but was now ready to go again in 2026.

“After the (2022) World Cup, I honestly didn’t want to (return to the Brazil national team),” he said. “But I’ve changed my mind. Because I’m very hungry, right? I changed my mind.”

Brazil’s 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign gets underway in September.

Messi set to play today

Miami: Lionel Messi is set to make his MLS debut with Inter Miami on Friday night, but fans might have to wait a half to see the Argentina legend.

“From what I have seen up to now they (Messi and newly-signed Sergio Busquets) are going fit to play and it is likely that on Friday they can be there,” Miami coach Tata Martino told Argentina’s ESPN Futbol 12 on Wednesday.

“Whether that will be as starters or coming in at the half, we will have to make that decision yet, but as I see it, Leo as well as Busi can play.”

Tickets for the game are going for between $275 and $110,000, according to ticket reselling website Vivid Seats.

Miami is last in the Eastern Conference of MLS, sporting a 5-14-3 mark and 12 points behind the red line for the playoffs. But Martino said the Herons are going to get the best version of Messi.


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