Neymar and PSG left to pick up pieces as transfer saga ends

PARIS, Neymar's decision to join Paris Saint-

Germain in 2017 was motivated by a desire to establish himself as the best

player in the world, but a troubled time in the French capital has left the

Brazilian at risk of wasting the best years of his career.

The closure of the transfer window has finally brought to an end the

lengthy saga surrounding the future of the world's most expensive player, who

will stay at PSG having failed to get the move back to Barcelona he craved.

His former club could not complete a deal to rescue the 27-year-old from

his apparent nightmare in Paris, with Neymar so determined to return that

sports daily L'Equipe reported he offered to pay 20 million euros ($22

million) from his own pocket towards the fee.

PSG paid 222 million euros ($264 million at the time) for his services,

while committing reported wages of 36 million euros a year.

Yet he has not done nearly enough at the Parc des Princes in two seasons

marred by injuries and interrupted by off-field distractions.

In August 2017, the desperation of PSG's Qatari owners to win the

Champions League appeared to fit with Neymar's own obsession with emerging

from Lionel Messi's shadow and winning the Ballon d'Or.

I would love for us to meet in two years and see what his value will be

compared to today. At least double, said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi at

the time.

� Missing at key moments �

However, since moving to the Parc des Princes, Neymar has appeared in

barely half of his club's matches.

When he has played he has frequently been brilliant, scoring 51 goals in

58 games. He has won back-to-back league titles and one Ligue 1 player of the

year award.

But the Champions League is what really matters, and when it has really

mattered in Europe he has been absent. Foot injuries saw him miss three of

the four Champions League knockout matches the club have played since his

arrival.

Without him, they lost in the last 16 to Real Madrid in 2018 and then to

Manchester United this year.

After suffering a broken foot for the first time in February 2018, Neymar

missed the rest of PSG's season to be ready for the World Cup. Brazil went

out in the quarter-finals.

In January this year, Neymar fractured the same foot, missing the crunch

part of PSG's season during three more months out.

He has since missed the Copa America with an ankle injury and was accused

of raping a Brazilian woman at a Paris hotel in May � the case was dismissed

in August by a Brazilian judge.

Neymar has never learned French and has often appeared too busy with off-

field distractions, including throwing lavish birthday parties and making a

cameo appearance in his favourite Netflix series.

� Good for the PSG brand? �

He remains one of the biggest sporting celebrities on the planet, but he

must put the last few months behind him quickly and deliver, otherwise there

may well be nobody rich enough who is willing to take a chance on buying him

next year.

PSG supporters have made clear their unhappiness towards Neymar, yet those

feelings can still change if he brings success on the pitch.

In the boardroom, there is also the realisation of his commercial value �

when Neymar arrived, Al-Khelaifi spoke of a project of two brands: we're

associating the Neymar brand and the PSG brand.

They have since signed major sponsorship and endorsement deals with the

likes of Nike, with Neymar's presence alongside Kylian Mbappe playing a major

role.

PSG are a young club who need a big media profile to help them develop.

That is what Neymar has brought, just like Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) or (David)

Beckham before him, French sports marketing specialist Jerome Neveu told

AFP.

Ending the Neymar experiment might have allowed PSG to start afresh,

although Mbappe and coach Thomas Tuchel had stated their wish that he stays.

I like Neymar, I want to keep playing with him, with Kylian and with

everyone, said Tuchel recently.

Now all eyes will be on Neymar to see if he can put this episode to bed,

although his three-game Champions League suspension means it may be some time

yet before he makes any genuine impact.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)