Ligue 1: PSG conductor in Clermont, Neymar confirms his renewal

The air of Japan refreshed him. Lost for several months in Paris, where he was only a shadow of himself, Neymar returned transformed from his vacation and the PSG tour in the Land of the Rising Sun. After a high-flying performance during the Champions Trophy, punctuated by a double including a sumptuous free kick, the Brazilian did it again during the first day of Ligue 1 in Clermont, Saturday August 6.

With a goal, again rather tasty, and above all three assists, Neymar was the conductor during the Parisian recital at the Gabriel Montpied stadium (5-0). His third assist, a real gift for Lionel Messi, while the cages were open to him, testifies to an altruistic player, back to his best level.

If the Clermont public gave Lionel Messi a standing ovation after his acrobatic return, Neymar would undoubtedly have deserved such an honor too. Sharpened as rarely since his arrival at PSG, the former Barcelonnais dictated the rhythm of his team, lively on his support, sure in his dribbling, inspired in his choices, both in finishing but also in construction. Not to mention, something unusual for him, his repetition of defensive efforts. The Brazilian also seems more serene, and less inclined to provoke the opponent or to add more after the slightest contact.

“Are you defending yourself now?“, Antoine Kombouaré, the coach of FC Nantes, had told him during the Champions Trophy. But behind this little tackle from the coach of the Canaries, there is a reality: the new state of mind of the Brazilian, who in addition of his physical form shows a new involvement, which we had only seen during the big matches of PSG.

It must be said that things have changed for Neymar, who is no longer PSG’s number 1 star. While they seemed pushed towards the exit at the start of the summer, Neymar retains a special status in the group, but is no longer untouchable. Such an evolution seems to have done him good, and this regenerated Neymar finally turns out to be almost a new luxury recruit for the Parisian club. A rookie who also benefits from the change of coach. Christophe Galtier is reputed to be close to his players, which corresponds to how the Brazilian works.

In a press conference before the Champions Trophy, the new Parisian coach had also rolled out the red carpet at his number 10: “I saw a happy, joyful, very professional player. He arrived prepared, fit, he didn’t miss any sessions. He is in sharing and listening to the work. He is a world-class player and it’s important to have a player of his class.” In addition, “It’s an important season for each player who will participate in the World Cup”recalls Christophe Galtier.

The November competition thus partly explains the form of Neymar, who did not hide that it was his absolute objective. “I want to play this World Cup, I want to dedicate myself to it, because I am sure that we [les Brésiliens] we have the potential to go very far. I can’t guarantee that I’ll play another World Cup, honestly, I don’t know. But I want to play like it’s my last”warned the player a few days ago on TV Globo.

PSG could reap the rewards. Finally. Because five years after his arrival in the capital, a record longevity for him in the club, the Brazilian has never managed to show his true level over time. Alongside Kylian Mbappé at the forefront, with Lionel Messi behind his back, Neymar seems in orbit to finally meet the expectations of Parisian supporters. In any case, this is the promise of this start to the season.

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