Neymar has made friends in the Paris Saint-Germain dressing room by not mentioning their humiliating 6-1 loss to Barcelona last season, Adrien Rabiot has said.
The Brazil superstar completed a stunning world-record move from Barca for €222million at the start of this month and has enjoyed an impressive start to life in Ligue 1, registering three goals and three assists in as many games for Unai Emery’s side, all of which have ended in comfortable victories.
PSG’s ultimate goal remains Champions League glory – something they were denied a shot at in the last-16 last season, when Neymar inspired Barca to a scarcely believable 6-5 aggregate win after a 4-0 first-leg hammering.
But Rabiot says that infamous night at Camp Nou, in which Neymar scored twice and set up Sergi Roberto’s crucial last-gasp goal, is firmly in the past.
“It’s very easy to play with Neymar,” France midfielder Rabiot told Telefoot. “When we pass the ball, we know that he will give it back soon after. I have a good understanding with Neymar.
“We don’t talk about the ‘remontada’ [comeback] with him, it’s the past.
“The locker room was buzzing when we learned that he signed at the PSG.”
PSG’s blockbusting spending might not be over, with numerous reports linking them to a swoop for Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe in a deal worth in excess of €150m.
“For him and PSG, it would be a good thing,” Rabiot said. “From the point of view of our image it would be symbolic and, of course, on the sporting front he can bring something.”
One of Rabiot’s international team-mates to have already moved for a record amount is Ousmane Dembele, the winger having moved to Barca from Borussia Dortmund as a direct replacement for Neymar for an initial €105m fee.
“He is very quick, he is agile, scores goals, makes passes – he knows how to do everything,” Rabiot added of the Catalans’ most expensive ever player. “I trust him. He goes to the level above at Barcelona.
“I think he doesn’t have any pressure when he is put on a pitch, he knows how to do it. He likes to play football. To go from Dortmund to Barcelona is a real step.”