Neymar names surprise City star as toughest opponent

Kyle Walker, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe & Ruben Dias
Kyle Walker, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe & Ruben Dias

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has named a surprise Manchester City star as the toughest opponent he has come up against in his career so far.

The Brazilian has begun the new season like a house on fire, having already already reached 10 goals and seven assists in just nine games across all competitions in the 2022/23 campaign.

His rich vein of form also saw him score the winner for his club on Saturday, when PSG narrowly edged Brest 1-0 at the Parc des Princes.

Having faced some top defenders in his career since moving from Brazil to Europe in 2013, including the likes of Sergio Ramos and Virgil van Dijk, the 30-year-old considers the aforementioned Liverpool defender among the toughest defenders he has faced, but also named a perhaps surprising City player whom he feels has been the most difficult to play against.

"[Kyle] Walker," Neymar replied on the DAZN Soccer Show when asked who the toughest defender he has gone up against.

"Because he's fast, strong and intelligent."

The Selecao attacker also heaped praise on Netherlands international Van Dijk. 

"Playing against Van Dijk is tough because, as a centre-back, he's so strong and intelligent," Neymar added.

"He knows when is the right time to close you down and when to go in for a tackle. That makes it harder.

"It's harder to play against intelligent centre-backs. Sometimes they don't make mistakes and it's tougher if they don't make mistakes."

Read: Real Madrid reclaim top spot with big win

The former FC Barcelona forward also mentioned Manchester United's Raphael Varane among those he has found it hard to take on, having faced off against him several times during their days in Spain.

"I've played against Varane many times! He's a very good centre-back," he continued.

"He's quick and intelligent, his positioning is very good. He's a top player. He hardly ever gets it wrong, that's why he's won so much."

You must be signed in to comment.