PSG’s Leonardo: “Neymar made mistakes”

Daniel Karell
NBC Sports

It’s been a two-year long roller coaster for Neymar.

On one hand, he’s been as good as advertised when fit. He’s scored 45 goals between Ligue 1 and the Champions League and displayed outrageous skill along the way.

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But he’s also had many gaffes, along with poorly-timed injuries. He suffered two ankle injuries in February to miss the key portion of the Champions League, which led to Paris Saint-Germain being bounced early. And in one media incident, when answering a softball question about his favorite memory in soccer, he mentioned La Remontada, or the Comeback in French, in which Barcelona completed an incredible comeback and beat PSG, 6-1, to advance in the Champions League. It was an answer that angered and upset many PSG fans.

“Neymar made mistakes,” PSG sporting director Leonardo said in an interview with RMC. “You know, I did not know him before. As the days go by, I get to know him. And I honestly think he’s a good lad with a very good foundation. And on the pitch, he’s an amazing player.”

In the background of these quotes is still the drama over what happens with Neymar. PSG paid a massive sum, more than $200 million to sign Neymar just two years ago. So far, with Barcelona constrained by Financial Fair Play, the offers from they, or even Real Madrid, haven’t risen to the level that PSG is happy with.

At the same time, PSG continues to say that the reason Neymar isn’t playing in the first team right now is because he’s still continuing his recovery from another ankle injury suffered on international duty with Brazil, right before the Copa America this past summer on home soil.

For the time being, it appears that the Neymar saga could go right down to the wire in early September.

“There are discussions for his future as you know today, but there is nothing advanced,” Leonardo said of a potential transfer for Neymar.

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