When referee Kuipers showed a yellow card at 1-1 (1-0) in the Stadio San Paolo in Napoli in injury time Neymar, memories of the so disappointing for the Brazilian 2018 World Cup high. Neymar, the man for theatricality in Russia, had made a private fight with Kuipers in the second group match, did not feel well protected during the entire tournament and had only partly celebrated his genius.
In the fourth group match of the Champions League against SSC Napoli (here it comes to the results) Neymar delivered a strong first half, was involved in almost all dangerous actions of Paris Saint-Germain and led his team to a deserved lead in half time. But after the break, he let the joy of playing take. From more aggressive Napoli players, but also from Kuipers, who misjudged three situations in Neymar's eyes. Neymar had to be pulled away by teammate Kylian Mbappé once, after his warning he applauded.
The PSG dilemma has different facets, Neymar is not insignificant. If the dribbler often searched by his teammates plays a big role, the team is hard to stop, as the twelve wins in twelve games in Ligue 1 show. But only Neymar will not win the ambitious club of the Champions League from Qatar. But this is the declared goal of club boss Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
How are Financial Fair Play?
PSG has never moved beyond the quarter finals in the Champions League in recent years. What was considered a disappointment per se was of crucial importance to the strong opponents, to whom Paris was often hit early. Yes, there are four or five teams in the league that are similar or even better qualified and also want to win. The Champions League title has not been overcome, but in the storm on the transfer market.
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Now the Parisians, or the Qataris, are looking for another problem with the Football Leaks. SPIEGEL and its partners in the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) research network have shown that PSG has been raised to billions of euros against the rules of financial fair play to become an international top club – with the help of the current FIFA President Gianni Infantino. (The whole story on SPIEGEL +).
Whether and what threat is imminent is not clear, but whether the UEFA future is further transferred in Neymar dimensions (222 million euros) approved, the European Football Association must think twice. Especially because PSG is in any case under supervision and only a few days ago filed a complaint with Cas against further investigations by Uefa.
Tuchel would have liked to buy differently
Trainer Thomas Tuchel is in this difficult situation and knows the goals of his bosses. But he also knows the weak points in his team. Nevertheless, Tuchel – at least to the voices from Germany – comes under almost reflex pressure, at least to the voices from Germany, although since the take-over in 2011, Khelaifi has so far not fired any of his coaches after only one year.
In Paris, sports director Antero Henrique questioned the question, which is responsible for the composition of the current team. Tuchel wanted a solid six and reinforcements for salvation; Because Henrique did not deliver, Juan Bernat and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting were signed on the last day of the transfer window.
Since then, the cooperation between Tuchel and Henrique has to be kept to a minimum. And since the head of the sport must also answer the missing contract extension with Adrien Rabiot, Khelaifi is according to Tuchel to the French media.
Should PSG (5 points) actually fall out in the difficult group with Napoli (6) and Liverpool (6), the mission from Tuchel to Paris will not be over automatically. Nevertheless he will have imagined the possibilities differently. The current team has too many vulnerabilities and further financial debauchery is uncertain. An upcoming winner of the Champions League looks different.
SSC Naples – Paris Saint-Germain 1: 1 (0: 1)
0: 1 Bernat (45. + 2)
1: 1 Insignia (63./Elfmeter)
Napoli: Ospina – Maksimovic (76th Hysaj), Albiol, Koulibaly, Rui – Callejón, Allan, Hamsik, Ruiz (71st Zielinski) – Mertens (83rd Ounas), Badge
PSG: Buffon – Marquinhos, Silva, Kehrer (90. + 4 Choupo-Moting) – Meunier (73rd Kimpembe), di María (77th Cavani), Verratti, Draxler, Bernat – Neymar, Mbappé
Yellow cardsRuiz / Mbappé, Kehrer, Verratti, Neymar