The phrase a ‘statement of intent’ is thrown around a lot, especially when a club signs a player above their own standards in hope of challenging for major honours. In the case however, Neymar’s world record move to Paris Saint-Germain is more than that; it is a warning shot. It is a warning shot to the Europe’s elite that PSG will make strides in the Champions league as they aim to banish the ghosts of past failures.
After Jesé, Lavezzi & Draxler all being tried and tested in the left wing berth in the side it finally feels like Paris’ premier club can have their own world class left winger. The idea is that he’ll have Layvin Kurzawa behind him & with Di Maria joined by Dani Alves on the right, forcing PSG wide when they’re on the ball won’t be the brightest of ideas.
When you include the fact that they’ll be decorating a spine of Thiago Silva, Marco Veratti & Edinson Cavani, PSG will have no excuses when it comes to competing on all fronts this season. After securing Brazil’s shining star, it could be argued that PSG’s missing link is a top level goalkeeper, with Kevin Trapp’s errors providing mediocre security.
The question ‘why did Neymar leave?’ could be debated long through the night, as people from various perspectives have offered their two cents towards the situation. The general thought is that Neymar aimed to ‘leave Messi’s shadow’ (although Neymar himself has never outright confirmed/denied these claims). One image that epitomizes this was Messi’s ‘PSG moment’ where, after their emphatic comeback at the Camp Nou, Messi stood amongst the Catalan faithful like a giant amongst men.
By contrast Neymar joined in the on field celebrations with his teammates. It seemed that no matter how much he tried to endear himself to the Blaugrana, they would see him as a step-child as opposed to their favourite son. Neymar himself stated himself that he loved learning from Messi everyday whilst the bearded maestro also admitting he was ‘embarrassed’ that Neymar said he was his idol.
The fact that Neymar openly praises his teammate suggests that there was no underlying jealousy but deep down he must’ve known they would never been seen the same in Barca eyes. Meanwhile since the Zlatan complex from PSG has faded, France’s biggest spenders have longed for a new name to carry the PSG flag.
Image credits: France 24
A prerequisite of any top club is a larger than life character to embody the club’s personality. Players such as Christiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba & even Antoine Griezmann spring to mind. All with their own memorable goal celebrations & grand social media presence, these players aid their clubs on & off the field. Commercially they help sell merchandise & performance wise they get results, they add that extra power & quality in all dimensions of club football.
Unfortunately for Neymar, Lionel Messi is in a league of his own when it comes to being the MVP & with all other logical suitors having their own top man, PSG was the only viable option left. At Barcelona Messi was ‘Messi’ but as a consequence that left Neymar to being ‘the N in MSN’, PSG is by no means Neymar’s last option but with a club that will revolve around him & him only, we will soon see how good he really can be.
As the world record player it won’t entirely be his fault if he has an off day but sadly for him the media doesn’t do off days, his every move will be watched closely as twitter fingers firing on keyboards pouncing on the most trivial of mistakes. Putting in a man of the match performance in his first game with a team still stumbling towards cohesion, it seems as if the best is yet to come from the Seleção star.
Image credits: The Sun
As he slowly but surely adapts himself to his new surroundings, braces & hat tricks will eventually find their way and this revised transfer strategy from PSG seems to be more effective with Neymar being the centre piece but all the other parts must work around him. The ultimate success for PSG & Neymar will be winning the Champions League one day but if they ever do so, Neymar will be expected to play a major part of it.
It is a cliché but time really will tell whether Neymar’s move to PSG is a right one. Registering a goal & an assist on his eagerly anticipated debut, the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award should be in his sights one day & with the World Cup around the corner he must be eager to enter it whilst in the best vein of form. Neymar could end the year with 4 trophies or he can end it with none & even though their performances in those competitions won’t fully represent his, a lot of them will have his influence so at the end of the day goals, assists & trophies will what he’s judged on; whether he likes it or not.
- The Race to the Capocannoniere - October 23, 2017
- Neymar to PSG | The story of the game’s biggest transfer - August 23, 2017