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Mauricio Pochettino praises ‘fabulous guy’ Neymar

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Mauricio Pochettino has described superstar forward Neymar as a ‘fabulous guy’, praising his ‘big heart’ and ‘competitive wild side.’

The 29-year-old has not set the world alight for Paris Saint-Germain this season, missing four of their nine Ligue 1 matches, and only contributing one goal and two assists in his five appearances. He received plenty of criticism in his last outing too, putting in a poor display as Les Parisiens lost 2-0 to Rennes – including giving the ball away in the build-up to the opener.

Neymar was also involved in a spat with teammate Kylian Mbappe in recent weeks, but manager Pochettino has come out in defence of his under-performing superstar, insisting that he is a ‘fabulous guy’ and ‘has a great relationship with everyone.’

“Neymar has a great relationship with everyone,” Pochettino told Movistar +, as cited by AS. “He has a big heart. He is sensitive, likes to hug people. Then he has that competitive, wild side. He’s a fabulous guy.”

Pochettino also discussed the current balance of his forward line, which has flattered to deceive at times this season. The trio of Lionel Messi, Mbappe and Neymar has not clicked into gear yet, with all three starting and struggling in the recent loss to Rennes.

The PSG coach has no concerns over his attacking trident however, hailing their ‘spontaneity’ and ‘naturalness’.

“What they appreciate the most is spontaneity. They do not look for a reference, they look for naturalness. What you can do is establish a relationship of trust in which you feel free to tell them what you think and vice versa.

Mauricio Pochettino, Neymar Jr

“The coach has to seek that complicity with his players and not deceive them. Then in the dressing room, privileges are granted by the nature of one another. They are big names, but the collective performance is what will give you a chance to win.”

The ‘MNM’ did link up to good effect in the Champions League victory over Manchester City, with PSG newcomer Messi bagging his first goal for the club in typically superb style.