Neymar’s big-money move to join PSG caused frenzy in the football fraternity and THT takes a look at three reasons why the move can benefit the Brazilian
Be it Cristiano Ronaldo’s shock transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid or Thierry Henry’s sensational move to join Barcelona from Arsenal – the transfer window never fails to disappoint. These big transfers may not happen during every window, but when they do, the entire football fraternity explodes with mixed reactions.
The same thing happened with Neymar – a player who is often regarded as the torch-bearer of modern Brazilian football – made a shocking decision to join Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona this summer, for a world record £198 million deal.
As expected, the move stunned football enthusiasts across the world as fans and critics remained divided on whether or not the move was a good idea. The Hard Tackle takes a look at three reasons that could prove that perhaps joining PSG was the ideal move for Neymar.
An escape from being overshadowed by Lionel Messi
The first reason might seem like the most obvious one, but it is true. It is simply not possible to play in the same club as Messi and not be under his shadow. The counter argument to this can be the fact that Neymar could have become the club’s star striker once the Argentine legend exits or retires.
With the kind of performances Messi is still producing, it is quite evident that he has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. Waiting for a situation that may or may not happen would have stagnated Neymar’s form without allowing any scope for growth.
PSG, on the other hand, will not just provide Neymar the chance to be their main man; the club will also allow the naturally attack-minded player to forego the defensive responsibilities he had at Barcelona and play in a more comfortable position and formation.
Neymar is entering the prime of his career and PSG can help realize several of his personal goals. If he can propel PSG to a Champions League victory, it would certainly put his name in serious contention for a Ballon d’Or, which he would be unlikely to win under Messi’s shadow at Barcelona.
The Samba connection
Brazilians have played a defining role throughout PSG’s 47-year history, with a number of big names being associated with the French club. Ronaldinho cemented his legendary status when he was a part of the club from 2001-03, while Rai’s sterling service from 1993-98 will always remain dear to the fans.
Despite all the drama surrounding his transfer, Neymar will be happy once he arrives since he will have quite a few friends at his side. Captain Thiago Silva, winger Lucas Moura, defender Marquinhos, and fellow newcomer Dani Alves are all likely to welcome the talented Brazilian as he settles in with his life at the new club.
There is always something special about playing in a club with several of your country mates. Often times, that allows the club to flourish and PSG will be hoping this is one such situation. Moreover, Neymar and his band of Brazilian teammates would be further boosted by South American duo Angel Di Maria and Edinson Cavani.
Even as far as tactics and strategies go, Neymar can do extremely well under Unai Emery. PSG can play pragmatic football anchored by solid midfielders like Blaise Matuidi, Adrien Rabiot, and Marco Verratti, coupled with fun, creative, and exciting football courtesy the Brazilian forward.
Play a role in helping PSG achieve Champions League glory
As was evident in Barcelona’s stunning 6-1 turnaround over PSG in last season’s Champions League, Neymar can give Emery’s squad an advantage since he seems to possess the sort of winning quality needed to realize their dream of becoming European champions.
Interestingly, it was PSG that looked like the stronger club after defeating Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of that Round of 16 series, but the club failed to reach its full potential even though they had quality players. Neymar could be the missing piece of the puzzle that helps PSG qualify to the semi-finals and beyond for the first time since 1995.
As far as the transfer window goes, the Parisians’ summer business has been headlined by fending off advances for Marco Verratti while landing one of the finest attackers in world football. That one move for Neymar itself makes them better positioned to land the Champions League.
Barcelona’s fortunes in the transfer window though has been quite discouraging. New head coach Ernesto Valverde seems to be destined for disappointment with regards to his pursuit of Manchester United’s Ander Herrera, while Verratti appears to unobtainable.
The key factor here is that PSG do not lack for players on any other front. They have a strong midfield, defence and an attack which has now been accentuated by Neymar’s arrival. Hence, the French giants are likely to be the favourites to win several trophies in the upcoming season with the Brazilian superstar on their side.