Neymar can become world's best on any team - Alisson

By Sports Desk October 13, 2019

Neymar does not have to leave Paris Saint-Germain to fulfil his goal of becoming the world's best player, according to Brazil team-mate Alisson.

The forward was strongly linked with a return to Barcelona during the transfer window, but no move to Camp Nou came to fruition.

Neymar has instead remained in the French capital, scoring four goals in five Ligue 1 games since recovering from a foot injury.

The 27-year-old did not finish in the top 10 for the 2018 Ballon d'Or but, asked if Neymar could become the best player in the world by joining Barcelona, Alisson told Mundo Deportivo: "I think that Neymar can be the best in the world on any team.

"Neymar is a high-level player and would be fundamental in any team in the world. If he returns to Barcelona or not... I wish him good luck and to play with his usual joy and energy, wherever he is."

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi was reportedly pushing for Neymar to be signed by Barca, but he told RAC1 this month he was surprised his former team-mate did not join Real Madrid after it became clear he wanted to leave PSG.

Messi and Alisson met in the Champions League for the second season in a row last term, with the former Roma goalkeeper again coming out on top with a stunning second-leg comeback.

The Argentina captain had struck twice in the first leg to seemingly give Liverpool a mountain to climb but they won 4-0 at Anfield to overturn their deficit, going on to win the tournament by defeating fellow Premier League side Tottenham in the final.

Alisson also got the better of Messi at this year's Copa America, where Brazil beat Argentina 2-0 in the semi-finals before going on to lift the trophy on home soil with a win over Peru.

"The truth is that Messi played very well in the first leg in Barcelona and achieved two goals, but in the return I managed to stop him in some important moments," Alisson added.

"Messi is one of the best players in football history, but I don't think only of duels with him. Both Barcelona and Argentina are two very good teams that have high quality players.

"Luckily, in the last three matches I have been able to overcome him, but the merits are of the whole team: Rome, Liverpool and Brazil."

 

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    While they hold a 19-point lead atop the Premier League, Liverpool have been linked with moves for numerous players, including RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

    Klopp is unfazed by suggestions his team are the world's best, but said it could help with signings.

    "It's easier if players see you as that. If they see you are successful, it's easier to get into talks with players," he told UK newspapers.

    "But on the other side, it's more difficult the better your team is because they ask questions like, 'where and when would I play?'

    "We need players who want to be part of this, who want to fight for their spot, who want to make the next step together with us, who want to develop and improve so that's it.

    "We have these players and whoever wants to join us needs to have exactly this kind of attitude."

    Liverpool are still unbeaten in the Premier League ahead of hosting West Ham at Anfield on Monday.

    Klopp said finding the right players to add to his side, who were Champions League winners last season, was difficult.

    "The age group of the team is good in the moment. In two or three years, maybe it'll be different but for the moment, it's good," he said.

    "It depends on what you want. Is it a good age for selling? Probably not. But is it a good age for performing? Yes.

    "So there are a lot of things we have to think about. It's an interesting period."

  • Tuchel excuses Neymar's 'human' reaction after PSG red card Tuchel excuses Neymar's 'human' reaction after PSG red card

    Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar was exempt from blame for his sending off in a 4-3 win over Bordeaux on Sunday after head coach Thomas Tuchel refused to criticise a reckless tackle.

    Brazil international Neymar was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Bordeaux's Yacine Adli in added time of the Ligue 1 clash at the Parc des Princes.

    The 28-year-old had an angry exchange with referee Willy Delajod and then appeared to sarcastically applaud the officials as he left the pitch.

    However, Tuchel believed Neymar's reaction was a natural one given he felt the PSG player had been fouled beforehand by Bordeaux's Youssouf Sabaly.

    Neymar is now set to miss PSG's next Ligue 1 fixture at home to Dijon on Saturday.

    "We have to talk about the whole situation," Tuchel said of Neymar's challenge in his post-match media conference.

    "He is nervous and he reacts. It is human. He must not, but it is human. And the Bordeaux player does not even get a yellow card."

    PSG secured the points after a chaotic win thanks to two goals from Marquinhos and one apiece for Edinson Cavani – his 200th in all competitions for the club – and Kylian Mbappe.

    It helped PSG increase their lead to 13 points over second-placed Marseille at the top of Ligue 1.

    And Tuchel acknowledged the win helped boost morale as they produced a positive reaction to a 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

    "The victory is the most important thing now because there are things to improve, it is clear," added the German coach.

    "The players lack a little confidence after a defeat. It's like that. We can see that a lot of teams in Europe after a defeat it's always a little difficult to regain spirit and confidence."

    Brazilian defender Marquinhos feels PSG must work hard to improve their defensive performances after leaking seven goals in their past two Ligue 1 games.

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    The Uruguayan forward was linked with a move away in January, while his contract expires with the French club at the end of the season.

    PSG held a presentation for Cavani, who has seven goals this season, after the game and the 33-year-old was "a little emotional".

    "It's the team-mates who give you the goals," Cavani told Canal+.

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    "But I'm like that, a little emotional. I looked at my family who is there, always behind me, pushing me, giving me love.

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    Defender Marquinhos scored a brace for PSG and Kylian Mbappe also found the net, though the hosts had Neymar sent off in additional time.

    PSG are 13 points clear of nearest rivals Marseille in the Ligue 1 table.

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