As Liverpool get ready to host Paris Saint-Germain in a crunch UEFA Champions League Group C clash at Anfield, the spotlight will once again be on Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr.
The former Barcelona attacker has been a marked man ever since he moved to the Parisian club for a world-record fee in the summer of 2017. PSG stunned the football world with their unprecedented massive financial outlay on the 26-year-old.
One of PSG’s primary objectives of signing the sublimely talented cited by PSG were its ambitions of becoming a force to be reckoned with in Europe.
The chance for Neymar to make an instant impact on the continental level arrived soon enough with PSG drawn against Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16. However, the Brazilian was highly wasteful in his side’s 3-1 defeat at Bernabeu in the first-leg before missing the return fixture due to an injury.
This season, Neymar has been in excellent form in Ligue 1 where PSG continue to blow away their competition but has yet to leave his mark in the European stage.
Four matches into PSG’s group-stage campaign, the French giants find themselves in a precarious spot with just five points to show for and there is a real chance that they could find themselves dropping down to the Europa League.
Drawn in a group of death which also includes Napoli and Red Star Belgrade, PSG have failed to come to the party in the big matches. While they were handed a 3-2 defeat in Liverpool in their campaign opener, two successive stalemates against the Serie A outfit now sees their fate in Europe hanging in the balance.
Their Brazilian superstar looked unstoppable in the side’s sole win over Red Star Belgrade with a hat-trick, but, bar his assist for Kylian Mbappe in the defeat to Liverpool, he has failed to create a decisive impact otherwise in Europe.
Although he looked extremely threatening in Naples in the 1-1 draw, nothing went right for Neymar with the PSG man even copping a yellow card for his troubles.
Now, with a group-stage exit looming large for the Parisians, the time has come for Neymar to step up and take the game by the scruff of the neck.
“We must approach it as if it were the last game of our lives,” he had said ahead of the Napoli clash. Neymar and PSG will need to take the same approach at the Parc des Princes against Liverpool now and back the talk with actions.