These were shrill whistles that accompanied each touch of Neymar's ball (27). And this during a home game. The fans of Paris Saint-Germain have not forgiven the Brazilian superstar the summer theater. His dream of winning 1-0 against Strasbourg does not change anything. "I know that from now on, every game will be an away match for me," Neymar said. In Paris, he has only one ally: Thomas Tuchel (46 years old).
News and rumors about the star could keep the coach a little more relaxed than all the other PSG leaders. Tuchel has always known: if Neymar goes away, his club has more financial leeway in the transfer market. If the playmaker has to stay, he always gets a motivated professional – that's what Neymar personally assured him. The Brazilian kept in touch with Tuchel at every step and, if he stayed, promised him his absolute loyalty. In the 3-0 win against Real Madrid Tuchel against the UEFA Champions League, Neymar had to do without him: he had been suspended for insulting the referee for three matches.
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Tuchel's fate is closely tied to Neymar – not just in this Champions League season. The coach has a penchant for tough guys. At BVB, he himself controlled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (30) and Ousmane Dembélé (22).
In Paris, Tuchel was not officially announced because he was already sitting with Neymar at the table. In early May 2018, Parisian patrons had reserved a floor of the hotel "Hippodrome", where the PSG played games at home. For the secret meeting, Tuchel flew to talk to the bosses and sports director of the time, Antero Henrique. Loaded was the only player to do it: Neymar. After the first discussions, almost everyone left the room. Only Tuchel and Neymar stayed behind. The Brazilian had some questions to ask the man who would lead the PSG in the future: how does he see it? How does he want to build the Parisian game around him? The answers of German have pleased the Brazilian. Since then, Tuchel is Neymar's closest confidante in the club.
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"For me, it's quite normal between us," said Tuchel at the pinnacle of Barça's attendance around Neymar. He does not even try to rebuild the capricious genius that he could have done earlier. On the contrary, he gives Neymar the freedom he needs on the Ten. Because Tuchel especially needs the Neymar Champions League. And he continues to take care of him. "It was not easy for him because he is a very sensitive boy," said the coach after the whistles against Neymar this weekend.
PSG bosses are at least waiting to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. Rather more. The coach is well aware of this: Will Neymar leave the club no later than this summer to Spain, he must now show that it is worth doing a mega-transfer.