The Argentine coach revealed that the 30-year-old is close to returning to play. Neymar suffered a terrible ankle injury during PSG’s 3-0 win over Saint-Etienne on November 28.
The front has endured a rough start to the 2021-22 campaign. He has just scored three goals and provided three assists in fourteen games in all competitions for his club this season. Neymar failed to form a formidable partner with Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe up front before he picked up an ankle injury.
The Brazilian has been banned for almost two and a half months. He will likely return to action in PSG’s clash with Real Madrid in the first leg of the Round of 16 on February 16.
Pochettino has given a positive update on Neymar’s fitness, claiming that the player is close to returning to action. The Argentine strategist said (quoted by Marca):
“I see Neymar close to coming back. If he’s here, he’ll start. There’s no doubt about that.”
Neymar joined PSG from Barcelona in the summer of 2017 for a world record transfer fee of 222 million euros. The Brazilian is expected to become the club’s talisman and lead them to the elusive Champions League title.
Neymar won three Ligue 1 titles, three Coupe de France titles and two Coupe de la Ligue titles during his tenure with the club. However, he was unable to lead the Parisian team to Champions League glory, despite reaching the final of the 2019-20 season.
Neymar’s time at the Parc des Princes has been marred by injuries. The 30-year-old has made just 130 appearances for the club in all competitions. He has scored 90 goals and provided 55 assists in all competitions for PSG.
PSG will imagine the chance to beat Real Madrid in the Champions League
PSG is currently proud to be one of the best teams in Europe. The French giants signed Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum and Achraf Hakimi last summer.
The French giants are one of the candidates to win the Champions League this season. However, some fans and pundits have underestimated PSG’s chances of winning the European first division championship. That’s thanks to their performances under Pochettino.
The club are currently top of the Ligue 1 table, but were knocked out of the Coupe de France by Nice in the round of 16. PSG also finished second in Group A of the Champions League, 1 point behind leaders Manchester City.
However, Pochettino’s side have been in impressive form in Ligue 1 in recent weeks. They have scored eleven goals in their last three matches.
Argentina striker Lionel Messi has been in impressive form in the Champions League this season, scoring five goals in five appearances. Messi will have to keep shooting if his team gets past Real Madrid. Neymar’s availability could also be a big boost for the French club.
Meanwhile, Los Blancos may not have the service of forward charms Karim Benzema for next week’s Champions League Round of 16 first leg. Benzema is currently recovering from a hamstring injury.
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The Frenchman has scored 24 goals and assisted 13 times in 28 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid this season. Carlo Ancelotti hopes to have the 34-year-old back in time for the game against the Parisians.
https://www.sportskeeda.com/football/news-if-here-will-start-psg-manager-pochettino-provides-crucial-update-neymar-s-fitness-ahead-champions-league-clash-real-madrid?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda “If he’s here, he’ll start”