The game between Manchester United and Paris St-Germain opened up talks about the influx of South Americans, especially Brazilians in the French capital over the years.
Neymar was missing, with the Brazilian attacking sensation being ruled out taking all the headlines, with the media questioning how the French champs would survive the expected onslaught of the Red Devils. With Edison Cavani also unavailable, it fell to Kylian Mbappe to lead the PSG strike force.
There was a lot of talk as to why the club is so centered around Neymar despite the possibilities for a more collaborative team approach. When the former Barcelona man joined the club in 2017 alongside compatriot Dani Alves, they became the 32nd and 33rd players from Brazil since 1971 (in the days of Joel Camargo). With Brazil being one of the most attractive sides to watch (and tickets for their matches at the World Cup being the most searched for on this website, it’s no wonder they are in high demand for the top teams of European Football.
Across the ages there have been other Brazilian soccer stars like Abel Braga, Ricardo Gomes, Valdo, Rai, Lucas Moura, Ronaldinho etc. For some time the PSG setup had more Selecao stars than Frenchmen as the symbiotic relationship worked out. Recently there have been Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, and of course Alves and Neymar.
PSG’s signing of Neymar was to attract the glitz and glamour to the club, and help them with their European glass ceiling. The move definitely established the French side as one of the top destinations for Brazilian soccer stars.
With time more Brazilians will be dreamy at the mention of PSG, with the awareness it has brought, especially if the current stars can achieve their goals. Despite the team being largely centered around Neymar, they were able to see of Manchester United away in the crucial fixture, and have the advantage ahead of the return fixture. Assuming they manage to avoid Barcelona in the next round, they can go far!