One day before the eighth (February 16, 2021) final first leg of the Champions League between Barça and PSG (8 p.m. GMT), Catalans coach Ronald Koeman was asked about Neymar’s absence, injured. The opportunity for the Dutchman to claim the protection of players like the Brazilian and Lionel Messi.
Neymar’s injury is not a celebration for everyone in Barcelona. The very talented Brazilian from PSG is forfeited for this round of the Champions League’s 16 first leg tomorrow Tuesday at 8 p.m. GMT on the Camp Nou pitch. He injured his groin against Caen in the Coupe de France. Neymar Junior, who is out for four weeks, could also miss the return match on March 10.
Bad news for the Parisian club and the Brazilian himself who dreamed of reuniting with his former club since his departure in 2016, especially with his best friend, Lionel Messi. Ronald Koeman also had a little compassion for the Parisian on Monday at a press conference. According to the Dutch technician, the referees must protect players of the caliber of Neymar and Messi.
“I believe in always protecting these kinds of players like Neymar, Messi, or Ronaldo because they have given us a lot of their talent,” Barca coach said on the eve of the clash. From this point of view, the referees must defend them, but there are contacts in football, and they know it. Football remains a contact sport ”.
And Koeman continued about the absentees on the Paris side: “For any team, everyone must be available. Neymar and Di María represent a significant loss for Paris for us with Ansu Fati, Coutinho, Araujo, or Sergi Roberto. You have to live with these problems and have other prepared players. I’m not afraid because we trust our players, “concluded the former Netherlands manager.