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Reports: Neymar reluctant to play against Real Madrid in Champions League second leg
- Updated: February 19, 2018
PSG star Neymar is reluctant to play against Real Madrid in their second leg Round of 16 clash in the Champions League if reports from Spanish media house Don Balon is to believed. Neymar has long been believed to be Real's marquee target ever since he made the world record move of €222 million to PSG this summer from Barcelona.
The Brazilian has been in emperious form this for PSG this season – scoring 28 goals in total for the runaway Ligue 1 leaders.
Real are believed to be long-time admirers of the Brazilian and were looking to bring the Brazilian to the Bernabeu before he chose Barcelona to begin his adventures in Europe. Five year later, Florentino Perez is believed to be still a fan of the 26-year-old.
Neymar is believed to the one that Perez envisions as Cristiano Ronaldo's long-term replacement. And now according to sensational report from Don Balon, Neymar doesn't want to play in the second leg in Parc de Princes.
The first leg was a horror show for Neymar who thrilled many with his nifty footwork and runs but when it came to actually making a difference in front of goal, it was again Crisitiano Ronaldo who came out as the King of Bernabeu.
The 3-1 win for Ronaldo and co. put them in the driver's seat and if Neymar truly doesn't turn up for the second leg, it will take a Herculean effort from the rest of the Parisians to pull back the deficit. Whilst the reports doesn't point to any specific reason as to why Neymar won't take to the pitch, it mught well be because of the hard-hitting criticism he faced after the first leg.
Meanwhile, Barcelona legend Xavi has defended his old team-mate and believes Neymar actually outperformed Ronaldo at the Bernabeu.
“They said that Cristiano was still better than Neymar,” Xavi told So Foot.
“No, no, it's unfair. What did Ronaldo do in the game, scored a penalty and a knee goal…
“But what about the dangerous situations created by Neymar?
“And the counterattacks that he launched, the fear that he sowed in Madrid?”