Brazil, Clubs, Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Rodrygo, Story

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Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar has tipped compatriots Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior to make successes of themselves with Real Madrid.

Speaking to Globo Esporte, the Brazil international expressed his hope that expectations for the young duo will be tempered, and that they will be shown patience at Santiago Bernabeu.

Rodrygo boasts six goals and two assists from 14 La Liga and Champions League appearances, while Vinicius has two goals and one assist from 16 league and European outings.

“Both are top players,” he said. “They are showing that with Real, and I am hoping they can win and enjoy their European footballing experience.

“As they gain experience and mature, they will become much better than they are now.

“In Brazil, people are in a bit of a rush. They want Rodrygo and Vinicius to crack it soon and blow up the league.

“Adapting is hard. It is tough to go to a high-level club like Real and Barcelona, to name just a few. Both are doing surprisingly well — it shows they have maturity and personality.

“I just hope they keep going like this, stay focused, never stop being happy and enjoying football — I will be one of the spectators.”

PSG star Neymar feels fellow Brazilians Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior can thrive in Madrid.

Neymar looked back on 2019 as a hard year but one that him plenty after 12 months marked by controversies on and off the pitch.

The PSG man also expressed his hope that 2020 will bring bigger and better things for him.

“2019 was a very difficult year for me in every way — professionally and personally,” he said. “It was a year of learning, of twists and turns, and bettering oneself.

“I was injured and had to get back on my feet. I ended up hurting myself again. So, it was a year of twists and turns.

“Even if it sounds like a wasted year, I learned a lot — I gained experience.”

Looking ahead to the new year, Neymar revealed his hunger for personal and collective success and is targeting Champions League and Copa America success with PSG and Brazil respectively.

“My main aim for 2020 is to win everything I can with PSG and Brazil,” he said. “To take on new challenges, to reach the Champions League final and to win the Copa America again.

Neymar is also convinced PSG are equipped for a deep run in the Champions League and pointed to the squad depth coach Thomas Tuchel has available to him as a clear indicator of the French giants’ increased strength.

“It could be [PSG’s year to succeed], yes,” he said. “In terms of our squad, since I have been here, this is the year that we have been the best prepared — the strongest in every sense.

“Yes, we have a chance. PSG have never won the Champions League, but we will fight to win everything.

“We know our qualities, the quality of our squad and obviously we hope to be there when it comes to the crunch.”

Having sat out the 2020-opening 6-0 Coupe de France round of 64 win over Linas-Montlhery on Sunday, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi should return for PSG’s Coupe de la Ligue quarterfinal clash with Saint-Etienne at Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

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