Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Real Madrid vs PSG: Neymar's time to shine

The PSG players go over to their supporters to thank them after the 1-0 victory The PSG players go over to their supporters to thank them after the 1-0 victory
Frederick Owens | 14 February, 2018, 18:41

With Cristiano Ronaldo on one side and Neymar on the other, tonight's heavyweight Champions League showdown between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain sees two of the game's biggest global superstars collide.

According to the Daily Mail, Neymar also had three swallows tattooed behind his left ear to symbolise "honour, respect, courage, freedom, dignity and trust".

Di Maria and PSG face Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday in a first leg Round of 16 clash at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. We just have to hope that he has an off-day.

PSG would probably walk Ligue 1 and win a treble even without Neymar but it is in Europe where Qatar needs its money to make an impact. This side has some of the best players in the world and although they have not been in top form, they still have the ability to win any game. Now the leader of his own team, Neymar has shown he's more than ready to be the main man after leaving Barcelona in the summer.

"Right now I'm not thinking about my future, I'm only thinking about the game as it's the only thing we can control so we're focusing on preparing for the game and we'll see what happens", Zidane told a news conference ahead of Wednesday's first leg in Madrid. "I think Ronaldo will continue here though".

There is however one unifying objective for all who work at Parc des Princes - Neymar and Emery included - and that is to win the Champions League.

Zidane's role as Real boss has come under increasing scrutiny with the Madrid giants trailing bitter rivals Barcelona by 17 points in La Liga. There is no way to discipline him if needs be seeing as the No. 10 has a direct line to Nasser Al Khelaifi - the PSG president - who pulled out all the stops to ensure his signing in the first place and who is doing everything to make sure he's happy.

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He has not yet lost a Champions League knockout tie as a coach, and he will surely need to extend that run against Neymar and co.to stand any chance of still being in charge of Real beyond this season.

History is on Real's side - they are the 12-time European champions, winners in each of the last two seasons.

If that felt like a means of escape and isolation, there was something of that in the way the PSG manager spoke as he largely evaded answering questions about the mental impact of last season's defeat.

And Ronaldo, who only signed a new contract in Madrid previous year, supposedly wants pay parity with the other two global icons.

"We don't feel the pressure, we like playing games like this".

Paris have of course been in Spain since that game in 2015, and will never forget the 6-1 humiliation they suffered in Barcelona at the same stage of last year's Champions League.

REAL MADRID are under huge pressure against PSG with boss Zinedine Zidane's job possibly on the line if they lose this mouthwatering Champions League match-up. "We're self-critical and we know that we haven't had our best season". Edinson Cavani has been banging them in again this term, usurping the great Zlatan Ibrahimovic as PSG's record goalscorer in the process.

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