Neymar, involved in four of Paris GA's five goals on Wednesday against Galatasaray (5-0) in the Champions League, has completed his return to the forefront of a generosity recital, after a start to the season chopped by desires for departure, then the wounds.
The copy is more than perfect. A goal, two assists, another goal created, and especially this image as improbable as it is filled with emotion: that of a Neymar offering the ball of the penalty of the end of the game to a Edinson Cavani in total lack of confidence, then clinging to the Uruguayan's shoulders to celebrate his reunion with the way to the goal.
If there have been doubts since the return of crack, absent for a long month until early November for a glitch in hamstring, they were quickly erased in this dreamy evening at Parc des Princes.
Because facing the dense but rusty Turkish defensive curtain, it is the superstar of the Seleçao who found the flaw. By first adjusting a deep laser pass in the direction of Kylian Mbappé, decisive passer for Mauro Icardi (33). Then delivering two superb assists, for Pablo Sarabia (35th) and Mbappé (63rd). By scoring, finally, his own goal after the locker room (47th), beautifully served by Mbappé.
This, according to the statistician Opta, makes him the third player with the most appearances in C1 haloed by at least one goal and one assist. Neymar has nine, just behind ... Lionel Messi (10) and Cristiano Ronaldo (11).
The Brazilian seems in any case to have in his pocket the keys of many padlocks at the moment, because it was already thanks to his mastery that Paris had escaped unharmed Saturday in Montpellier in the league (3-1). Led 1-0, PSG had sounded the revolt via a sublime direct free kick of "Ney" decisive passer then to Mbappé.
Wednesday night, in the tense atmosphere of the Parc des Princes and under a fine rain, he wisely transformed himself into a model teammate, space researcher and generous creator, in a first period during which he rose in power. Before resuming his clothes scorer, from the start of the second.
- "Beautiful mentality" -
Rare enough, the usual whistles of a part of the Parisian fans, who still have not digested his initial summer inclinations and continue to boo when he scores, seemed a little less noisy this time.
The fans may end up having to admit that the 222 million euro man changes a lot when he is on the pitch, he who had already offered three wins 1-0 at the start of the season in Ligue 1, for his great return after several weeks spent outside the group, the time that the record of his future is decided.
Some had doubted, seeing him not inspired in Madrid against Real during the 45 minutes he could play (2-2), or frankly clumsy against Nantes eight days later (2-0).
"He lacks pace and automatisms," had swept his coach Thomas Tuchel. In Montpellier, where the awakening had appeared, he had then hailed "the beautiful mentality" of his player.
Left on Wednesday on the left flank of the midfield, because of Tuchel's choice to play four midfielders and two strikers, Neymar just had the right mentality, while creating. Offering Cavani, the darling of the public, the late penalty (84th), is undoubtedly the most flagrant proof.
Chance of the calendar, the "Ney" found a place in the starting lineup in the Champions League for the first time in a year to the day, and the victory on the field of Red Star Belgrade (4-1).
Impatient and eager for results in the competition queen, the PSG will not want to wait another year to see his star reissue this kind of recital.
© 2019 AFP