'Neymar is technically better than everybody' – Nene

Posted Wednesday, February 13, 2019 by squawka.com

'Neymar is technically better than everybody' – Nene

Former Paris Saint-Germain winger Nenê believes Neymar is "technically" above everyone at his former club.

Neymar, 27, is currently sidelined with a foot injury and will miss PSG's upcoming Champions League round-of-16 fixtures against Manchester United.

How good is Neymar? Four things you need to know…
1. PSG made Neymar the world's most expensive footballer when they signed him from Barcelona, after triggering his release clause, for £200m in 2017.
2. His inaugural season ended prematurely due to a serious ankle injury, though he still managed to bag 28 goals and 16 assists in 30 matches.
3. Before his most recent setback, Neymar had registered 20 goals and 11 assists in 23 matches this season.
4. Only Cavani (62) has scored more than Neymar (48) since he joined the Parisian giants.

His absence is a huge blow for PSG who are desperately seeking to make inroads in the Championship League following their following their high-profile acquisition by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011.

Since then PSG's new owners have laced the club with a plethora of mega signings, most notably Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, in the process they've established them as a domestic force by winning five league titles, four national cups and five league cups.

However, it's in European football's premier competition where they've not made an impact, signing Neymar was solely down to address this situation.

In the previous seasons under Qatari control PSG have been eliminated at the quarter-final stage four times (2012/13, 2013/14, 2015/16 and 2016/17) whilst their last two campaigns ended at the round-of-16 phase most notably against Barcelona in 2016/17 when Luis Enrique's men incredibly overturned a four-goal first-leg deficit.

PSG go into this season's round-of-16 first-leg without Edinson Cavani and Neymar but have Mbappé and ex-Red Devil Ángel Di María to call upon.

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But as far as Nenê – who played for the club between 2010 and 2013 – is concerned, Neymar's loss is substantial as there isn't anyone wearing their jersey on his level or beyond.

"It would have been beautiful to play with [Neymar] because he's a very smart player, and technically he's above everybody," he told Omnisport.

"I think he's living an important moment, every year he's showing his quality, his strength. He can be stronger every year."

Can PSG cope without Neymar?
It goes without saying Neymar is a big miss for PSG or for any club. To date, he's sat out 32 matches through injury across his opening two seasons representing the French champions.

Of those outings just one has come in the Champions League; unfortunately for ex-PSG boss Unai Emery it came in their round-of-16 second-leg tie against Real Madrid, a contest which saw Los Blancos come out 2-1 winners and 5-2 on aggregate en route to a historic third consecutive European Cup triumphs.

Their other losses without Neymar have come in the league; twice against Lyon, plus a shock 2-0 loss at home to Stade Rennais though it came when the 2017/18 championship had been secured.

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