Real Madrid Brazilian stayed in Paris
Real Madrid face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League for the fifth time in four years as the 2019/20 Group Stage begins in earnest, yet Raphael Varane has made clear that those in the Los Blancos dressing room lost track of Neymar‘s situation during the summer.
It was a saga which appeared to have an unlimited amount of twists and turns, but finished exactly where it began with the Brazilian forward stuck, unhappily, in the French capital, irrespective of interest from both Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“Every day there seemed to be a new announcement, we ended up losing track of the situation,” Varane explained in an interview with La Parisien.
“We didn’t talk about it constantly, we were simply focused on the beginning of our season.”
Rather ironically, Neymar will not be available for the first clash with Los Blancos due to a suspension he received for an off-pitch reaction to Manchester United‘s away goals victory over PSG at the Parc des Princes in the 2018/19 season.
With Kylian Mbappe also on the sidelines, you’d be forgiven for thinking Los Merengues have a slightly easier task than expected, however the French defender isn’t falling into such a trap..
“Obviously they are two very talented players, but it’s still a really competitive team,” Varane added.
“It will take a great Real Madrid to beat Paris Saint-Germain.
“In terms of pressure, El Clasico is unique, but also a match against PSG is also a stimulating and exciting clash.”
There is another strand of drama to the two matches between the clubs this year in that Keylor Navas will line up against his old club for the first time since leaving a trophy-laden career at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu behind.
“He had many key moments with us, especially in the Champions League,” Varane admitted.
“With us he made exceptional saves. He contributed greatly to our European titles.”