Tagged in: PSG

Man City’s Guardiola: I won’t sleep ahead of Neymar, Mbappe meeting

Pep Guardiola stated he won’t sleep ahead of Manchester City’s Champions League semifinal with Paris Saint-Germain if he thinks too much about the threat posed by Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

City will come up versus PSG’s formidable forwards in the first leg in Paris on Wednesday and Guardiola said the pair are so good, they can give opposing managers restless nights.

“Always I believe the quality of these players, they have too much,” Guardiola told a news conference on Tuesday. “I tried to sleep well last night and that was when I was not thinking of them. Incredible top players, their quality. We are ready to try to stop them, defend as a team, play good football and try to score goals.”

Guardiola first faced Neymar when the Brazil forward was playing for Santos versus Barcelona in the Club World Cup in 2011.

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After joining Barcelona in 2013, Neymar moved on to PSG in 2017 but Guardiola said there would be more Champions League trophies in the Camp Nou trophy cabinet had he stayed.

“I remember against Santos, I said this was the king of Santos and all the players were open mouthed: ‘Oh my god, what a player,'” Guardiola added.

“A joy to watch as a spectator, he has Brazil on his shoulders, the No. 10, it’s not easy to wear.

“I’m pretty sure if he’d stayed in Barca they’d have won two or three more Champions Leagues. With Neymar, [Lionel] Messi and [Luis] Suarez, the best three I’ve seen.”

While the tie is only City’s second Champions League semifinal, PSG are trying to reach for the final for the second year in a row after narrowly losing out to Bayern Munich last campaign.

Since then, Thomas Tuchel has been replaced as manager with Mauricio Pochettino.

The former Tottenham boss has been able to get the best out of Neymar since he arrived in January, leading to speculation the 29-year-old is a candidate for the Ballon d’Or and is set to extend his contract.

“I have already talked about it [his contract],” Neymar told a news conference on Tuesday.

“It is not a topic now. I feel great. I am happy this season. It has been by far my happiest this season. “My main objective is the Champions League, not the Ballon d’Or. That is not a priority. I want to be a leader for my team. I want to win. In the future, I will want to remember I have managed to win the Champions League a few times.”

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PSG named French Champs as Ligue 1 called off

France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel declared Paris Saint-Germain as the 2019-20 Ligue 1 champions Thursday after the remainder of the season was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.   

“Big sporting events will not be able to take place before September. The 2019-20 season, notably for football, will not be able to resume,” French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe stated Tuesday.

PSG held a 12-point advantage over second-placed Marseille in the Ligue 1 table when play was halted on March 13.

It’s the third straight Ligue 1 title for the Parisians and the seventh time they’ve finished atop the standings in the past eight years. The club now has nine top-flight championships, which is one behind Marseille and Saint-Etienne for the all-time record.

PSG lost two of their first seven matches to open the 2019-20 but were virtually unstoppable from that point forward.

They ended the coronavirus-shortened campaign on a 15-match undefeated streak.

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Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe tied Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder for the Ligue 1 lead with 18 goals during the term. The Parisians’ Angel Di Maria had more assists (14) than anyone else in the league.

The French league’s decision also throws the remainder of the Champions League campaign into serious question. Both PSG, who had clinched a quarter-final berth, and Lyon were still active in the UCL.

Meanwhile, the LFP opted to move forward with promotion and relegation despite the early conclusion of the season in contrast to the Dutch Eredivisie, which cancelled the remainder of its term last week.

Amiens and Toulouse will be relegated to Ligue 2 with Lorient and Lens promoted, although Amiens informed that they would be opening legal proceedings over their premature relegation from the top division. 

PSG, Marseille and Rennes will claim the league’s Champions League spots for next campaign.

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Chelsea make loan offer for PSG Cavani

Chelsea have offered to take Paris Saint-Germain’s striker Edinson Cavani to Stamford Bridge on loan until the end of the season.

According to The Times, Frank Lampard’s side are prepared to pay a loan fee and cover the Uruguayan’s hefty wages, thought to be over £360,000 a week, until his PSG contract runs out at the end of June.

The fee to secure the wantaway striker’s services is likely to be at least £5million and the Blues will have to fork out an additional £7.2million for the player’s wages.

Boss Lampard has stepped up his interest in signing a striker after his side twice threw away the lead to draw 2-2 with Arsenal.

He said: “You can’t say we will definitely sign a striker but we are looking.

“If you don’t score enough goals then you won’t win enough games.”

There are also concerns over regular lone striker Tammy Abraham who suffered an ankle injury late on at Stamford Bridge after sliding into the advertising hoardings and had to be helped from the field at the end of the match.

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Lampard said he did not know how serious the injury was but the club would assess the extent of the damage today.

With French World Cup winner Olivier Giroud set to depart this month, last season’s Europa League winners are now in need of reinforcements up front.

Cavani handed in a transfer request at the French champions on Sunday in a bid to force a move in this window and Lampard praised the 32-year-old before his side took on Arsenal.

He added: “He is a great player, I played against him.

“I am not sure what the situation is there though.

“He has experience, sometimes it’s good to bring in experience.”

The Uruguayan has been limited to just nine league appearances for PSG this season despite being the club’s record goalscorer with 198 goals in 293 matches in his seven years in the French capital.

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