‘This is my happiest season’ – Neymar says he’s put ‘difficult times’ at PSG behind him

The Brazilian has insisted that he is enjoying his football at Parc des Princes ahead of a Champions League semi-final clash against Manchester City

Neymar says the 2020-21 season has been his happiest yet at Paris Saint-Germain and that he has put the “difficult times” he’s endured in France firmly behind him.

Much was expected of Neymar when PSG paid a world-record fee of €220 million (£191m/$266m) to sign the forward from Barcelona in 2017, but he struggled to live up to that huge price tag during his first two seasons at the club.

Injuries and disciplinary issues overshadowed Neymar’s exploits on the pitch at first, leading to talk of a potential return to Camp Nou, but the Brazilian ended up staying put to inspire PSG to their first Champions League final last term and is on course to do the same this time around.

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What’s been said?

Neymar, who is approaching the final year of his contract at Parc des Princes, says he is now enjoying his football at PSG more than ever before, which he believes is a just reward for the hard work he has put in behind the scenes.

Asked for an update on a potential renewal with the French champions, Neymar told a press conference: “I spoke about this after the last game as well. I don’t think I need to say more.

“I have got time left on my contract here at PSG. We want to do what is best for everyone. I have already said that I am happy here and I feel much better than in the previous seasons.

“There are some aspects that I have improved here. I also went through difficult times with things that people know about. I have always worked hard and have always been professional, contrary to what some people believe.”

Neymar’s record for PSG this season

Neymar’s fitness problems have continued throughout the current campaign as PSG have fought for major honours on both domestic and European fronts once again, but he has made a significant contribution to the team when available.

The 29-year-old has scored 14 goals in 24 appearances across all competitions to date, while also providing nine assists.

What’s next?

Neymar was speaking ahead of the first leg of PSG’s Champions League semi-final clash against Manchester City, which is set to be played in Paris on Wednesday night.

The Brazil international was at his brilliant best as Mauricio Pochettino’s side saw off holders Bayern Munich in the last round, and he says they will stop at nothing to lift the trophy come May.

“It will certainly be a difficult game,” he added. “There is no easy team at this level. Manchester City are a top-level team, it’s a semi-final. It will be as hard as it was against Bayern. We will do anything to win. 

“PSG have grown a lot, the club is more respected. When people talk about PSG, they know that we are in the last four, five or six teams in the Champions League. We are on the verge of winning the Champions League.”

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