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Rafinha explains how Neymar has changed since leaving Barcelona

Neymar, PSG
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The new PSG midfielder has played alongside Neymar at club and international level down the years and has noticed a change.

Rafinha Alcantara believes Neymar has become a ‘much more mature player’ since leaving Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain.

The 28-year-old established a reputation as one of the world’s best footballers during a glory-laden four-year spell at Barcelona. Despite winning Europe’s biggest competitions, on top of receiving a new lucrative contract, he left in 2017.

PSG signed Neymar in a world-record deal of €222m, but injuries and disciplinary issues overshadowed his progress in the French capital.

But Neymar delivered on his potential last season by helping Thomas Tuchel’s side win a domestic quadruple and reach their first-ever Champions League final only to lose 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the end.

Although Rafinha, who joined his former Barcelona teammate in Paris last month on a free transfer, believes his compatriot is stronger mentally compared to his time at Camp Nou.

“I found a much more mature player than at Barca,” Rafinha told Telefoot on Neymar.

“Neymar is world-class, one of the best in the world. It’s a privilege to play with him.”

PSG, who lost 3-2 to AS Monaco last Friday in Ligue 1, will welcome RB Leipzig to the Parc des Princes this Tuesday for a Champions League game.

The Parisians sit third in the Group H table on three points from three games behind Leipzig and leaders Manchester United after losing 2-1 to the former in Germany last time out.

“The game against Leipzig is extremely important,” admitted Rafinha.

“It is a key meeting, and there is only one way out of this meeting: it is by winning.”