PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain right back Thomas Meunier hailed teammate Neymar and declared him “worth the money spent on him” after he inspired the lacklustre Ligue 1 leaders to a 2-0 home win over Troyes on Wednesday.
The Brazil international scored the opener and assisted Edinson Cavani for the second at Parc des Princes as Unai Emery’s men moved 10 points clear at the summit of Le Championnat.
Speaking after the final whistle in the mixed zone, Meunier praised Neymar and recognised his key role in the hard-fought victory and in the team since his world-record €222 million move from Barcelona this summer.
“I think that we ought to thank him after this,” the Belgium international told journalists. “Some will say that it was not the best performance of his career but he is always decisive.
“He causes a great deal of panic [for opponents]. Yeah, he is well worth the money spent on him.”
Thiago Silva captained PSG for the 200th time against Troyes and the Brazil international was impressed by Neymar leaving the ball for Edinson Cavani to take a first-half penalty after everything that has been said recently about the pair’s relationship.
“I have not spoken about this with him,” said Silva. “I know my little brother — he has gone through a lot of difficult moments in his career.
“There has been a lot of confusion and there has been a lot said about these penalties. Neymar showed very good attitude here.
“He gave Edinson the ball — unfortunately, Edinson did not score.”
Silva, who is 33 and has a contract until 2020 after extending it almost 12 months ago is keen to play past that date after wearing the armband for the 200th time.
— PSG Officiel (@PSG_inside) November 29, 2017
The former AC Milan wants to stay on at Parc des Princes, especially if the current squad remains relatively intact, and he reserved special praise for PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi and former coach Carlo Ancelotti.
“I am very happy,” Silva said. “I hope that I can stay here for much longer. Especially with this current group — it is special.
“It is wonderful to wear this shirt. I would like to thank my president and especially Carlo [Ancelotti], who gave me the opportunity to wear the armband.”
As Marquinhos was rested for the Troyes success, Silva may well find himself handed a breather when PSG take on Strasbourg at Stade de la Meinau on Saturday ahead of next week’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich in Germany.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.