Friday, November 24, 2017

Neymar prioritises Champions League over ´dream´ Ballon d´Or

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 10 Nov 2017

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Neymar insists his “dream” of winning the Ballon d’Or is outweighed by a desire to lead Paris Saint-Germain to a maiden Champions League triumph.

The Brazil star’s decision to leave Barcelona in August was reportedly motivated by a desire to challenge Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s monopoly on the prestigious individual honour.

Neymar finished third in the voting in 2015, which was won by then team-mate Messi, but was not on the podium last time around.

But with PSG having already breezed through to the Champions League’s knockout stages, the 25-year-old’s priority is to replicate the success he enjoyed with Barca in 2014-15.

“The Ballon d’Or is a dream. This is obviously an objective for me,” Neymar said in an interview with PSG’s official club magazine.

“But it’s not a trophy that [has to be at the front of my mind]. We must first think in terms of the team and the whole team wants to achieve its Champions League ambition.

“Thank God, I’ve already won one. I know this sensation and I want to know again this thrill with PSG.

“Only when the collective trophies are won will it be time, then, to think of the individual rewards.”

PSG have looked ominous in Europe so far this season, sealing their progression from Group B with four consecutive victories.

However, Neymar believes the Ligue 1 leaders cannot afford to be satisfied with their accomplishment.

“To win the Champions League is not to think about it only when [a matchday approaches],” he said.

“No, the Champions League is a work of a whole season. It is very, very difficult.”

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