Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar has revealed that he’s targeting a return from injury in time for the Champions League quarter-finals, if his side advance. The Ligue 1 champions hold a two-goal advantage in their last-16 tie with Manchester United, having come away from Old Trafford this week with a well-deserved win. That in turn puts them in a strong position to advance, although coach Thomas Tuchel will undoubtedly be warning his squad against complacency in the return leg on March 6.
However, should they make it through to the next round, they could be handed a major injury boost as Neymar’s physio has revealed that he’s targeting a return from his foot injury in time to feature in the quarter-finals. “It’s getting better,” Neymar is quoted as saying by ESPN. “We have already done several treatments, some procedures in order to improve it as quickly as possible and we are happy with the progress and with how things are going.” His personal physio Rafael Martini added: “We think that, if everything goes well, if Paris [Saint-Germain] qualify for the Champions League quarterfinals, we are thinking about playing the quarterfinals. If all goes well.”
Time will tell if that timeline sticks, but given the 27-year-old bagged 20 goals and 11 assists in 23 appearances this season prior to his setback, PSG will be desperate to see him return sooner rather than later to help them continue to compete for major honours this season. The French giants did well in his absence in Manchester, with Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe scoring the goals to put them in the driving seat to progress.
However, having Neymar in the side makes a significant difference given his quality in the final third, and they’ll arguably need him if they are to go all the way in the Champions League this season. More so veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who Neymar revealed, is owed a promise by the Brazilian to win the UEFA Champions League this season because, while Neymar has won the title twice with former club Barcelona, Buffon is yet to lift the coveted crown even after two decades at the top level.
“He is a phenomenon,” Neymar said of his 41-year-old team-mate. “It’s an honour for me to be a part of his career. He is a very good person – I had talked to him, and said: ’ I know you’re after a Champions [League trophy], this year I’m going to do everything I can to get it for you.’ And when I got injured, he sent me a message which said: ‘Hey come on, get back as soon as possible because you promised!”