Neymar ‘more impatient than ever’ to face Real Madrid

The Brazilian hit his 350th career goal against Lille on Saturday and is itching to get back to European action with PSG

Neymar is impatient to take on Real Madrid in the Champions League, with Ligue 1 proving little challenge for the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

The Brazilian scored his 18th Ligue 1 goal of the season with a superb free-kick as PSG won 3-0 at Lille on Saturday to move 11 points clear atop the table.

PSG are also through to the final of the Coupe de la Ligue and face Sochaux in the Coupe de France on Tuesday, remaining on track to win an unprecedented quadruple.

But the world’s most expensive player is already beginning to focus on a crunch clash against Madrid, who have won the Champions League two years running, with the first leg held on February 14 in the Spanish capital.

“I’m more impatient than ever,” Neymar said. “I’m really looking forward to it. I tell the truth, I hope it will come very quickly.

“We work a lot for this game and we like this kind of match. We will play against a quality team, a very big club.

“We will respect the people of Madrid, prepare in the best possible way and try to win.”

Neymar’s free-kick was his 350th career goal, coming two days before his 26th birthday.

“It’s a gift in advance,” Neymar added. “I am very happy to reach this mark of 350 goals at 25, almost 26.

“But the victory is more important. We knew it would be very difficult to play here.”

Neymar was the subject of close attention from Lille defenders throughout Saturday’s game, but PSG head coach Unai Emery was impressed with the way the Brazilian handled the attention.

“He is clever, we talked about his position on the pitch,” Emery told reporters. “Today he was patient, until we found him.

“The opponent had closed the spaces in the centre of the pitch. So Neymar had some defenders on him but he has been calm to find the right moment to score. We managed to give him some balls properly.”

Asked about Neymar’s birthday plans and PSG’s preparations for the Madrid game, Emery was giving nothing away.

“He will organise a dinner with his friends, all the people he wants,” Emery added. “I am invited, we all are.


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