Neymar has ‘lost his magic’ at PSG, says former team-mate Meunier

NEYMAR

Neymar has “lost his magic” after spending five seasons with Paris Saint-Germain, according to former team-mate Thomas Meunier.

Brazil international Neymar remains the world’s most expensive player after moving from Barcelona to the French capital in August 2017 for €222 million.

The 30-year-old has made 144 appearances for PSG and won 11 trophies, although it is clear he is yet to lift the Champions League with the Ligue 1 giants.

Neymar signed a new four-year contract last year, but the former Barcelona star fancied a move away from the Parc des Princes following the arrival of head coach Christophe Galtier.

And former PSG defender Meunier, who spent four years at PSG before leaving for Borussia Dortmund in 2020, believes Neymar’s career has stagnated.

“I have to admit that I was a big fan of Neymar when he was still playing at Barcelona. But in Paris he lost his magic in my opinion,” Meunier told Kicker.

“Comeback is all about him. If I was 10, I’d have a poster of him in my room.”

Neymar has scored exactly 100 goals for PSG in all competitions, 71 fewer than Mbappe managed in the same number of seasons.

Youth prop Santos scored 19 league goals in his first campaign with the Parisians, but has since failed to score more than 15 in any of the four seasons since.

Belgium international Meunier himself had a difficult time at PSG, which he attributed to a combination of factors on and off the pitch.

“In Paris I was shut down by the then sporting director [Leonardo] because I didn’t want to extend my contract,” he said.

“Even privately, it was not easy to leave Paris. My wife, my children and I, we all loved the city. It was hard to give up. But over time we were able to adapt as a family.”

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