Simons explains snubbing PSG for PSV as wonderkid thanks illustrious team-mates including Messi, Neymar and Mbappe

Xavi Simons Paris Saint-Germain 2021-22Getty Images

Former Paris Saint-Germain wonderkid Xavi Simons has explained why he turned down a long-term stay at Parc des Princes to join PSV Eindhoven, with the Dutchman taking time to thank his illustrious ex-team-mates such as Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for their help in his development.

The teenager has signed a five-year deal with the Eredivisie club after a last-minute turnaround on his future, having been set to sign a lengthy extension to remain at the Ligue 1 champions.

Following a breakout season under former boss Mauricio Pochettino - who himself has departed PSG to be replaced by Christophe Galtier - there was the expectation Simons may remain, but now the 19-year-old has laid down why he has made his move away.

What has Simons said on his decision to leave PSG?

"I was training with world stars every day but playing games is also important," the midfielder told ESPN on the subject of his move.

"I learned a lot from these players but I just turned 19 so I think I had to take that step to develop myself. It was really incredible. I don't think you will see such a good team together again.

"It was wonderful to be in the locker room with people you saw on TV. Not everyone can say that. I'm very grateful to them."

What has Simons said about his choice to move to PSV?

Simons returns to his home country for the next stage of his career now, and he admitted that he was persuaded by coach Ruud van Nistelrooy's pitch on his position and role at PSV in order to persuade him to sign.

"We have a very good connection, it's very important to me. He explained very well how he wants to work with the team and with me," said Simons.

"For my part, I prefer to play as an attacking or central midfielder. Let me run, score and assist."

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