Despite the doubts surrounding his fitness, Neymar started PSG’s highly-anticipated trip to Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 showdown.
Many expected the Brazilian to miss this Signal Iduna Park clash, with Thomas Tuchel even admitting that that was likely. However, according to the South American sensation, he had been fit and ready to return long before Tuesday’s game.
Speaking after the Dortmund clash, which the French champions lost 2-1, the world’s most expensive player criticized the club, saying that they were afraid to play him. The 28-year-old missed his team’s last three Ligue 1 fixtures but insists he was in good physical shape to play.
“It was not my choice not to play the last matches. I wanted to play, I felt good," Neymar said after the game, as per Goal.
"The club was afraid and it is I who suffer from it."
Neymar started this tie and got himself on the scoresheet, scoring in the 75th minute after excellent work from team-mate Kylian Mbappe. This was not enough, unfortunately, as the French giants came away with a 2-l defeat.
Erling Haaland stole the show in this game, with the teenager continuing his brilliant form in front of goal for Dortmund. The 19-year-old scored both goals for the home side, breaking the deadlock in the 69th minute before scoring the winning goal in the 77th minute, two minutes after Neymar’s equalizer.
The next leg will see PSG host the German giants. The Paris club will be keen to avoid another round of 16 exit and will thus need to up their game.