Ahead of Wednesday’s crucial semifinal match, Pep Guardiola made a surprising admission about both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Pep Guardiola has been thinking about how to stop Neymar since he realized Manchester City could possibly face PSG in the Champions League semifinals. Although Kylian Mbappe is also a force to be reckoned with, Pep knows Neymar a lot more due to his time at FC Barcelona. Guardiola is a Blaugrana supporter and naturally, he often follows their best players religiously. Today, the Manchester City manager confessed that Neymar would’ve been far more successful if he remained at FC Barcelona.
Back when he was still part of that attacking trio, the world was expecting him to be part of a dynasty that would mark an era in football. However, the Brazilian star decided against that when he left to play for PSG. We all know how that went, either Neymar nor Barcelona have won the Champions League ever since. He may have a chance to play his second consecutive finally though, but he needs to defeat Guardiola first.
Pep can’t sleep thinking about Neymar and Mbappe.
Goal picked up the following statement from Guardiola ahead of tomorrow’s game: “I tried to sleep well last night and I slept when I was not thinking about their players like that (Mbappe and Neymar)! We will try and stop them by defending as a team and playing well as a team. We will have to adjust something of course, but at the same time, it wouldn’t make any sense to not to be who we are. It is normal to adjust, like we will against [Wilfried] Zaha against Crystal Palace. We are going to concede counter-attacks, they have a lot of weapons.
“I remember watching clips of Neymar (when he was a teenager) and thinking this is the king of Santos. If Neymar stayed at Barcelona, they would have won two or three Champions League more. Him, Messi and Suarez were the best upfront. He went to Paris, which does not look a bad decision. It seems like a nice club and a nice city from the outside. I am an admirer. He makes football a pleasure.”