Injured Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar is convinced that Champions League success is just around the corner for the Ligue 1 leaders but has insisted that he is not their main man.
Speaking with event sponsor Red Bull on his recent 27th birthday — one week before PSG’s 2-0 Champions League last 16 first leg win over Manchester United at Old Trafford — the Brazil international said he was convinced that he will win European football’s biggest prize with the French giants.
Neymar also lavished praise on boss Thomas Tuchel, as well as his teammates.
“PSG will be Champions League champion,” he said. “PSG is not just about me — it has an awesome team with great athletes and a genius coach [Tuchel].
“Besides, the PSG fans are like a 12th player when we are playing in Paris. I have no doubts that we will be champions and that I will be playing.”
Neymar is currently recovering from his second fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot in as many years, which has ruled him out of the return leg against United at Parc des Princes.
The €222 million former Barcelona man could be back in time for a potential quarterfinal tie, though, if treatment keeps going according to plan.
“The treatment has just begun,” said Neymar. “It will be a long journey and I will have little victories day by day. Thank God I have great professionals by my side and the support of PSG as well as the support from fans all over the world.”
Neymar missed the end of his debut season with PSG because of the same injury that he is currently recovering from, although he underwent surgery to be ready in time for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
This time, he has not gone under the knife and feels that he is able to handle his current absence better than last year because it is not his first time.
“I have played football since I was a little child so, yes, it is very hard to be away from football, from the club’s routine and from the fans’ warmth,” Neymar said. “In 2018 I faced something similar and I know how bad it is, but that experience made me stronger and more prepared to face what’s coming now.”
Neymar is now making the most of having more time to spend with family and friends as he recovers but did not disguise his ambition to be back for domestic and continental success with PSG, as well as Copa America glory on home soil with Brazil.
“I want to spend more time with my family and get back to football as soon as possible,” he said. “I have many important titles to conquer this next year with PSG and Selecao Brasileira.”
Neymar’s current return date is expected to be around the beginning of April — if not sooner.