Neymar chooses less popular athlete as the best defender he faced


Credit: Lucas Figueiredo / CBF

PSG forward Neymar was asked in an interview with DAZN, a streaming service, about the toughest defenders he has faced in his career. Initially, he was asked who would be the toughest of them all and surprised him by citing an unpopular player: Kyle Walker, Manchester City’s full-back and defender. In a quick and direct response, Neymar defined Walker as “fast, strong and intelligent”.

Walker is Pep Guardiola’s man of confidence at Manchester City and has played seven games in 2022/23. He has played as a full back, which is his original position, and a centre-back. Hired by City in 2016, he faced criticism until he firmly established himself in the team and proved to be crucial for the Spanish coach’s team.

Neymar responded about other defenders

Still to DAZN, Neymar was asked about other defenders, the first being Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool’s starter. For him, the Dutchman has above average intelligence.

“Playing against Van Dijk is difficult because as a defender he is strong and intelligent. He knows the right moment to close you off from attacking,” Neymar said.

He was also asked about Raphael Varane, a Frenchman who is at Manchester United, but who was his rival in Spain when he was at Real Madrid and Neymar was at Barcelona.

“I played against Varane many times. He’s fast and smart. His positioning is very good.”

Neymar then recalled another defender who pleases him and who can “put fear” in opponents.

“I like Rudiger. He’s a defender that scares you. He is very strong and big. Some get a little scared. I don’t have it, but I think a lot of forwards are a little scared,” said the PSG number 10 about Real Madrid’s first-choice defender.

About Abhishek Pratap

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