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Only mental patients doubt Messi’s talents, says Kempes – football news

Argentina legend Mario Kempes has jumped to Lionel Messi’s defence after the Barcelona star came in for criticism from another of the country’s World Cup heroes, Diego Maradona. 

Messi, Kempes and Maradona have all spearheaded the Albiceleste’s journey to at least one World Cup final. 

But where Kempes and Maradona prevailed, in 1978 and 1986, Leo saw his dreams shattered in 2014 when Germany downed Argentina in extra time. 

Maradona has recently cast doubt on Messi’s leadership pretensions, with one of the most repeated statements referring to his “going to the bathroom 20 times before a game”.

Kempes, however, rejects that criticism, and believes that no one player is capable of winning matches on his own. 

“All of us know that Messi cannot win alone, except for the fanatics or the mental patients who put in doubt Messi’s talents, saying that he is a bottler, that he feels nothing for Argentina, that he doesn’t sing the anthem, that he goes to the bathroom 50 times before a game. Those are things that are said to make an impression,” the ex-player fired to GBP Sports

Kempes also made direct reference to Maradona’s controversial outburst, suggesting that the current Dorados boss would do well to keep his opinions to himself. 

“There is some news that says Diego feels bad or was misinterpreted… I think we need to calm the waters, it is like a tsunami,” he added. 

Diego Maradona Dorados

“Every time Maradona speaks it makes life difficult for everyone and there are those of us who don’t agree with that, not when he talks about football, but rather about people. 

“I think we need to turn over a new leaf, let him concentrate on coaching the Mexican team.”

With Messi on leave from the national team after Argentina’s latest World Cup disappointment, an experimental team went down 1-0 on Tuesday to Brazil. 

But despite the disappointment of defeat, Kempes believes the Albiceleste can build on the performance even without their talisman. 

Article continues below

“They didn’t play badly, we have to calm down. Argentina have started a new era, there is no crisis right now,” he said. 

“I think that things have improved overall, there is a generational overhaul. Messi is not there and I think that’s a good thing, he has been given a psychological break from the Argentina shirt that I think he needs.”

Argentina will be back in action during the month of November, with two friendlies scheduled against Mexico in Buenos Aires and San Juan.

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How have Brazil changed since the World Cup? – football news


GOAL ANALYSIS – Raisa Simplicio & Rupert Fryer


Following World Cup 2018, Brazil coach Tite and his technical staff are leading a process of renewal in the Selecao. Their work has been broken down into three stages: the short, medium and long term.

The short term utilised the six Brasil Global Tour dates from September to November, the first big test of which arrived this week with the Superclasico against Argentina in Jeddah.

Neymar refused to lose Miranda takes the Superclasico
Posted by Brasil Global Tour on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The 1-0 victory over their old rivals made it four straight victories, but it is the performances rather than the results of those matches that are most important to the coach.

Tite has taken the opportunity to introduce a number of new faces, handing out nine debuts since the World Cup (Neto, Felipe, Eder Militao, Andreas Pereira, Arthur, Lucas Paqueta, Richarlison, Everton and Pablo), while retaining the core of the World Cup squad. The intention is to find an ideal blend of youth and experience.


A FIXED CAPTAIN


Neymar Brasil Argentina 16 10 2018

The big news ahead of the Selecao’s first post-World Cup test was the appointment of a new captain. After two years of rotating the armband around the squad, Tite announced that Neymar was being anointed the responsibility on a permanent basis. Tite made a point of explaining his decision, insisting that his no.10 was the technical leader of the team who will guide them into World Cup 2022. 

There were some reservations following intense criticism of Neymar’s temperament in Russia, but it is clear to see that the 26-year-old has learned from the experience and is growing. Some of the criticism appeared to miss the point; this was not a reward from Tite, but rather a tool to ensure the player remains entirely focused and accepts his responsibility on the pitch.


ARTHUR’S EMERGENCE


Arthur Brazil El Salvador Friendly 11092018

The most prominent of all the new arrivals is Barcelona midfielder Arthur. The former Gremio man charmed the coaching staff and started against Argentina, a match in which Tite played what he believes is his best team. The match served as a something of a ‘simulation’ for next year’s Copa America, a tournament Tite is under huge pressure to win.

If the tournament started today, Arthur would be in the first-team. Despite having just over a year of senior football under his belt, Arthur has shown the strength, athleticism, tactical nous and technical quality to set the rhythm in the Brazil midfield, seemingly relegating Manchester Untied’s Fred back to the bench.


STRONG CORE


Philippe Coutinho Neymar Brazil 2018 World Cup

While Brazil are going through a major renovation, the Selecao remains standing on a solid foundation of five key players. In goal, Alisson has been consistently excellent and is yet to let his country down, though Ederson is pushing him hard. Marquinhos is the one member of the back-four whose place is assured, while Casemiro at the base of the midfield remains possibly his side’s most important player in terms of the team’s overall functionality.

In midfield, Coutinho – whether wide right or in central midfield – is immovable and so too is Neymar. Arthur is on the verge of making it six, but elsewhere places are very much up for grabs. Both full-back positions are being keenly contested and as many as half of the positions in midfield and attack are yet to be claimed.


STRIKING COMPETITION


Richarlison Brasil Argentina Amistoso Superclássico das Américas 16102018

One of the biggest changes for Brazil post-World Cup has been in the centre-forward position. For two years, Gabriel Jesus was immovable from the no.9 position. However, after failing to score in Russia, Tite has had a rethink. Jesus was left out of the squad completely last month but returned last week and found the net against Saudi Arabia.

Roberto Firmino, for so long his understudy, is now pushing for a start. Moreover, Everton forward Richarlison has entered the race after starring against El Salvador last month with two goals. The Argentina match saw Firmino and Jesus start a Brazil match together for the very first time, but they seemed to lack an understanding and the attack certainly lacked cohesion overall. Tite, then, has plenty to ponder up front ahead of next month’s Brasil Global Tour.


NEW FORMATIONS


GFX  1a mudança Tite Arábia Saudita

This week, for the match against Argentina, Tite took the extremely rare decision not to confirm his starting XI on the eve of the game, explaining that he was yet to devise his tactical plan for the contest. The 4-1-4-1/4-3-3 that had been omnipresent since his appointment has changed following their disappointment in Russia.

Against Saudi Arabia, he used three different formations and against Argentina went out with two centre-forwards, though Jesus did play from the right. The theory was that Firmino would drop and the likes of Neymar and Jesus would exploit the space. However, in practice it proved problematic, and will undoubtedly require more work on the training ground.

Regardless, Tite and his staff are working hard on varying Brazil’s shape and finding a system that can get his best attackers onto the field while retaining the ‘balance’ he believes is so important.

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Danilo taken off for Brazil with suspected ankle injury – football news

Danilo was forced off during Brazil’s clash with Argentina after the Manchester City full-back suffered a suspected ankle injury.

Brazil coach Tite opted to pick Danilo ahead of Alex Sandro for Tuesday’s Superclasico in Jeddah, as first-choice right-back Dani Alves continues his recovery from a serious knee injury. 

But less than 10 minutes into the second half of the game, Danilo saw his evening come to a premature end. 

Tracking back in order to stop a dangerous incursion from Argentina striker Mauro Icardi, the City man went over heavily on his ankle as he conceded a corner. 

Danilo received brief treatment on the pitch before Tite ordered the substitution, with the defender in visible pain.

Juventus’ Alex Sandro was called in, while Danilo was able to limp off the pitch unaided. 

Article continues below

Instead of retiring from the stadium, the defender stayed on the bench with his team-mates, applying ice to the injured ankle. 

City will now be hoping that their full-back has avoided serious damage to the joint, with a sprain likely to rule the Brazilian out for at least a couple of weeks. 

Pep Guardiola’s men are back in action on Saturday at home to Burnley, before travelling to Ukraine three days later to face Shakhtar Donetsk.

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Video: Impossible to compare Messi and Neymar – Brazil stars – football news

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Neymar 10, Jesus on the fast break and five lessons from Brazil’s win over Saudi Arabia – football news


GOAL ANALYSIS – Raisa Simplicio


Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Alex Sandro saw Brazil past hosts Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on Friday night. Coach Tite said he was happy with the result but was less pleased by aspects of his team’s performance.

Below, Brasil Global Tour look back at the major talking points from King Saud University.


NEW ROLE FOR NEYMAR 


Neymar Al Mogahwi Saudi Arabia Brazil Friendly 12102018

The standout player on the night, Neymar changed the game by creating both Brazil goals. With a new-found tactical freedom, Neymar spent most of the match operating centrally as a traditional no.10, exactly how he has been playing with his club PSG in recent weeks.


WE BELONG TO…


Gabriel Jesus Al Owais Saudi Arabia Brazil Friendly 12102018

One of the most criticised players during the World Cup in Russia, Gabriel Jesus returned to the national team and immediately got back in the goals. Having been left out of the squad completely last month, his first-half strike upon his return to the side was a huge confidence boost.

The Manchester City striker’s poise and electrifying pace to break in behind the Saudi defence before slotting his neat finish past the goalkeeper was much more like the devastating form we saw from him during World Cup qualifying.


THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING RENATO


Renato-Augusto-Brazil

Considered the player who provided balance to this Brazil side like no other during World Cup qualifying, the minor injuries began adding up just before the big show and Renato Augusto was relegated to the bench in Russia. 

Perhaps Tite’s most trusted man, the cerebral midfield schemer came back into the starting line-up this week and once again displayed his importance to this team, staking a strong claim to remain a part of the coach’s plans. In the first half, Renato found spaces in behind the opposition, while after the break he dropped deeper to help out defensively. 


SEARCHING FOR ALTERNATIVES


GFX  3a mudança Tite Arábia Saudita

With a new four-year cycle having just kicked off, now is the time for experimenting. And Tite is looking at more than just personnel – on Friday he changed formations three times. Brazil entered the field in a 4-3-3 that alternated between the famous 4-1-4-1. In the second half, Lucas Moura’s arrival saw a switch to 4-2-3-1.

With 20 minutes remaining, Tite shuffled his pack again. This time, Arthur and Richarlison arrived as substitutes and the shape changed to a 4-3-1-2 with no central striker.


FULL-BACK ROLES STILL UP FOR GRABS


Fred Alex Sandro Al Bishi Saudi Arabia Brazil Friendly 12102018

Brazil’s regeneration process ahead of next year’s Copa America has left the full-back positions very much up for grabs. Dani Alves appears to have ended his long and successful international career and Marcelo was left out of last month’s squad completely as Tite searches for alternatives.

Fabinho and Alex Sandro were once again handed the chance to leave an impression but neither had a particularly successful evening. The full-back roles, then, are still to be won.

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Who and where are Brazil playing this month and who is in the squad? – football news

This month Brazil return to action as the Brasil Global Tour heads to the Middle East.

The Selecao meet Saudi Arabia and old rivals Argentina.

in their second post-World Cup international week, coach Tite and his staff have once again handed call-ups to a number of fresh faces as the Selecao look to rebuild ahead of next year’s Copa America.


WHO ARE BRAZIL PLAYING THIS MONTH?


Brazil Saudi GFX 09102018

The Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour returns with a double-header in Saudi Arabia.

Brazil will meet Saudi Arabia at King Saud University in Riyadh on October 12 before meeting Argentina at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah on October 16

Brazil Argentina GFX 09102018

Brazil have faced Saudi Arabia on four occasions – winning each time. The two sides last came together in 2002 when a lone goal from Djalminha earned victory in Riyadh.

The five-time world champions’ previous meeting with Argentina arrived on the Brasil Global Tour of Melbourne in 2017, when an experimental side went down 1-0 to their old rivals.


WHAT NEXT FOR BRAZIL COACH TITE?


Tite Brazil 23032018

That the Brazilian football confederation (CBF) reacted to their World Cup quarter-final exit to Belgium by immediately offering Tite a new contract speaks volumes of the excellent work he has done since his June 2016 appointment.

The Selecao was at a particularly low ebb upon his arrival following the infamous 7-1 defeat to Germany at World Cup 2014 and two disappointing Copas America. 

The former Corinthians man completely transformed the team almost overnight, ensuring the five-time world champions returned to international football’s top table.

Tite and his staff have split the next four years into three phases and this month’s Brasil Global Tour is part of the first as the staff evaluate a number of new players ahead of next year’s Copa America in Brazil.

Under his command, Brazil have won 22, drawn 4 and lost only twice, with their only defeats being the forementioned loss to Belgium and Argentina.


WHO ARE BRAZIL’S NEW PLAYERS?


Malcom Barcelona

This month’s squad includes three players earning their first ever international call-up in Barcelona’s Malcom, Bordeaux defender Pablo and young Gremio goalkeeper Phelipe.

There were no less than eight debuts handed out in September as Neto, Felipe, Eder Militao, Andreas Pereira, Arthur, Lucas Paqueta, Richarlison and Everton all represented their country for the first time at senior level. 

Only three of those have retained their place in this month’s group – though Everton withdrew through injury and Lucas Paqueta was ineligible due to his club commitments. 

Phelipe Brasil

Wide forward Malcom faces stiff competition to earn a regular place right now in a position in which Brazil are strongest, but the Barcelona man is highly thought of by Tite and is tipped to have a long-term future with the Selecao.

Pablo was a surprise inclusion and has a chance to stake his claim for a regular place as Brazil’s two World Cup centre-backs, Miranda and Thiago Silva, are now both 34-years-old.

19-yeaer-old goalkeeper Phelipe, meanwhile, has arrived to replace Flamengo’s Hugo in what is set to be trend of the next few months as Tite gives young custodians some first-hand experience of the senior squad. Lucas Moura and Hannover defensive midfielder Walace have also earned their first call-ups under Tite.


WHO DROPPED OUT AND WHO REPLACED THEM?


Lucas Moura Tottenham 2018

Coach Tite has become well-accustomed to late withdrawals from his Brazil squads. And this month has been no different.

Real Madrid left-back Marcelo was a high-profile omission from September’s Brasil Global Tour, during which Alex Sandro made a strong claim to make the spot his own.

Marcelo was recalled for this month’s games but was forced to withdraw through injury and was replaced by Filipe Luis.

Gremio forward Everton was delighted to be recalled following his first call-up last month but he too fell victim to injury, which handed Tottenham’s Lucas Moura a long-awaited recall.

Brazil squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Man City), Phelipe (Gremio).

Centre-backs: Marquinhos (PSG), Miranda (Inter), Pablo (Bordeaux), Eder Militao (Porto).

Full-backs: Alex Sandro (Juventus), Danilo (Man City), Fabinho (Liverpool), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid).

Midfielders: Arthur (Barcelona), Casermiro (Real Madrid), Fred (Manchester United), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Wallace (Hannover).

Forwards: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Jesus (Man City), Malcom (Barcelona), Neymar (PSG), Richarlison (Everton), Lucas Moura (Tottenham).


WHAT IS BRAZIL’S FIRST TEAM?


Brazil XI GFX 24092018

Ahead of this month’s matches there were as few five players who appeared absolute starters as Tite looks to evolve his side ahead of the Copa America.

Dani Alves appears to have played his final game for this country, as have a a number of aging members of the World Cup squad including Fernandinho, Fagner, Pedro Geromel and Paulinho.

On Tuesday Tite presented his XI to face Saudi Arabia (below) but there are likely to be some changes for the test with Argentina a few days later.

After having spent much of his first two years in charge making very few changes to both the starting XI and the squad overall, the coaching staff have made good on their promise that the September, October and November friendlies would be used to trial new players as they begin to build towards Qatar 2022.

Brazil XI GFX 09102018

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Jesus, Fabinho and Ederson set for Brazil starts – football news

Gabriel Jesus is set to celebrate his return to the Brazil squad by going straight into the starting line-up against Saudi Arabia on Friday.

The Manchester City striker led the line for the Selecao at this year’s World Cup, but failed to find the net in Russia and was left out of the squad completely last month as coach Tite observed alternatives.

On Tuesday, Jesus was included in the first-team during training at Tottenham Hostpur’s Lodge training complex in Enfield, London, where Brazil are basing themselves until Wednesday’s flight to the Middle East.

However, Tite may yet be set to field what he considers his strongest team for the second match of this week’s international calendar, when Brazil will face Argentina.

Everton’s Richarlison and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino shone in Jesus’ absence against USA and El Salvador during September’s Brasil Global Tour in USA and both will be hoping for a start against the Selecao’s old rivals in Jeddah.

Bordeaux defender Pablo was also included in the first XI on Tuesday as Tite ran through a number of exercises working on team shape and rapid counter-attacks.

The 27-year-old former Corinthians stopper slotted in alongside Marquinhos and is now set for an instant debut on what is his first ever senior international call-up.

There was also a change in midfield where the returning Renato Augusto – who pulled out of last month’s squad for personal reasons – will be restored to the starting line-up alongside Manchester United’s Fred.

Liverpool’s Fabinho will retain his place at right-back over Manchester City’s Danilo and Alex Sandro will beat out competition from Filipe Luis.

Brazil XI GFX 09102018

Article continues below

Danilo’s club colleague Ederson appeared in goal and is primed for what will be only his second international appearance, despite being called up for 22 internationals.

Wednesday morning will see the Selecao return to the training field for their final session in London before departing for Saudi Arabia later that afternoon.

Brazil meet Saudi Arabia at King Saud University in Riyadh on October 12 before meeting Argentina at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah on October 16.1

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I would tell Messi not to come back to the national team, says Maradona – football news

Argentina legend Diego Maradona has advised Lionel Messi to make his retirement from international football permanent as the uncertainty continues over the star’s future with the Albiceleste.

Messi and Argentina suffered a mediocre World Cup campaign, crashing out in the last-16 after a tournament plagued with internal conflicts and sub-standard performances. 

The exit cost coach Jorge Sampaoli his job, while Messi has not been included in the two squads subsequently selected by interim boss Lionel Scaloni. 

And while the Barcelona star has refused to confirm his international future, his former Argentina boss believes he should not return. 

“What would I tell Messi? To not come back any more. To retire,” the current Dorados coach told Clarin on Sunday. 

“The Under-15s lose and it is Messi’s fault, the fixture list in Argentina puts Racing against Boca and Messi is to blame. He is always to blame. Stop breaking my balls. 

“I would tell him: ‘don’t go anymore, man’. Let’s see if they can handle that. Let’s see if they’re really big men.

“I would have liked to see him tell us all to f**k off. Because he is not to blame for us not being world champions. Fine, we all placed our hopes in him, but when you go to the racetrack you hope your horse wins and he comes in eighth. 

“In Formula One Vettel has a great engine and Hamilton beats him. Right now the national team doesn’t do anything for me or for the people. We have lost that. The passion. It cannot play against Nicaragua or Malta, no, brother. We are throwing all the prestige we earned down the toilet.”

Lionel Messi Diego Maradona Argentina South Korea World Cup 2010 06172010

When questioned over who he would like to see succeed Sampaoli, Maradona backed 1978 World Cup winner Cesar Luis Menotti, now 79 years old. 

And he was particularly scathing when asked about Scaloni’s decision to leave the No. 10 jersey vacant while Messi weighs up his future. 

Article continues below

“[Scaloni] is an idiot. He seems like an idiot. Because if I went and gave the 10 to Messi, Messi should give it to the next 10. It’s ridiculous, it gets me angry,” he fired. 

“Scaloni is a great kid but he can’t even manage traffic. How can we give the national team to Scaloni?! With everyone who has passed through that team, who got their teeth and heads broken, you’re going to put Scaloni in?

“Now Scaloni says ‘I am prepared’. I’ve never even seen you score for Argentina. No offence. As a person, let’s go and share a barbecue. But as a coach and in the national team, no.”

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Only five guaranteed regulars – Brazil’s new era slowly taking shape – football news


GOAL ANALYSIS – Raisa Simplicio & Rupert Fryer


With the World Cup now well and truly behind them, a new era has begun for Brazil.

Coach Tite and his staff have split the next four years into three phases, with the first running until the end of 2018 as the Selecao trial a number of new places.

Tite has repeatedly insisted that next year’s Copa America, which Brazil will host, will play a vital role in the team’s evolution ahead of Qatar 2018. 

In October, the Selecao return to Brasil Global Tour action with clashes against Saudi Arabia and Argentina. And last week’s announcement of his latest squad threw up a number of questions – not least, just how many players are now guaranteed starters?

After two years of consistent selections, both in the first team and the squad overall, a number of vacancies have now opened up as Tite looks to refresh and rebuild following June’s quarter-final defeat to Belgium in Russia.

Goalkeeper Alisson, defender Marquinhos, midfielders Casemiro and Coutinho, and captain Neymar are all seemingly unmovable from Tite’s preferred starting XI. But elsewhere, everything is up for grabs.

And next month more young, fresh faces will join the squad to compete for a role in the short- and long-term future of the Selecao.

Marcelo, who was left out of last month’s squad completely now faces intense competition from Alex Sandro at left-back. 

Brazil XI GFX 24092018

October will also see Fabinho and Danilo fight it out for the right-back role now vacated by the veteran Dani Alves, while at the heart of the defence it seems only Marquinhos is a starter after 34-years-olds Miranda and Thiago Silva have each made one of the two post-World Cup squads.

With Casemiro and Coutinho both settled, important parts of the three-man midfield, the third spot there is also being contested. Arthur and Fred appear to be the front-runners for that spot but the returning Renato Augusto could yet leap to the front of the line.

Douglas Costa looked to have made the right-wing position his own in September’s Brasil Global Tour victories over USA and El Salvador, but his recent indiscipline for club Juventus, coupled with yet another injury, has now reopened the doors to his competitors. 

Douglas Costa Brazil

With Willian dropped from next month’s squad, who will occupy the right-wing next month is currently the hardest question to predict.

Meanwhile, up front, Gabriel Jesus was Brazil’s starting centre-forward for the previous two years but he too was dropped last month. 

His hitherto reserve, Roberto Firmino, will hope to move ahead of the Man City forward in the pecking order but Richarlison’s star performance against El Salvador mean there is also now intense competition to lead the line.

Brazil meet Saudi Arabia at King Saud University in Riyadh on October 12 before meeting Argentina at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah on October 16.

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Neymar will mature from World Cup criticism – Alves – football news

Dani Alves believes the heavy dose of criticism Neymar received during and following the World Cup will help the Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain star mature.

Neymar found himself under fire during the summer tournament in Russia, with Brazil exiting in the quarter-final stage amid their talisman’s theatrics.

The attacker’s reactions to contact drew ire from opposing coaches, while fans made memes off his memorable reaction to an incident in the round of 16 against Mexico.

Even fellow players have gotten into the act, as United States international DeAndre Yedlin mocked Neymar’s World Cup’s behavior to a referee during the recent international friendly between the U.S. and Brazil.

Neymar himself released an ad following the World Cup promising to do better, though he complained after a yellow card for diving against El Salvador that the referee was mistaken.

And Alves, Neymar’s international and club team-mate at PSG, is of the belief the experience will help shape Neymar into a better person.

“In life, sometimes things happen that make you mature and make you realize that you have to improve as a professional,” Alves said.

“I’ve talked a lot with Neymar. I think he’s gained experience and the little shots he’s received during the World Cup will make him even more mature – [a] change of behavior.”

That Neymar was roundly criticised for his actions during the World Cup was something that Alves said made a difference in driving the point home that changes had to be made.

“You leave the kid aside and you become a man, and when you start becoming a man, your decisions and attitudes become more weighty,” Alves added. “And I told him that if everyone tells you the same thing and not only one or two people, something is wrong.

Article continues below

“We all have flaws, but we must not stay in one’s flaws. In life, we must try to evolve, because we are all intelligent.”

Neymar returns to PSG after scoring a pair of goals during the international break in Brazil victories over the United States and El Salvador.

However, he may not feature in Ligue 1 against Saint-Etienne this weekend, as head coach Thomas Tuchel considers resting him for next week’s Champions League clash against Liverpool.

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