Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has said he has no intention of intentionally celebrating in front of Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich after PSG advanced to away goals and the semi-finals of the Champions League.
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The draw, which finished 3-3 in aggregate, was a rematch of last season’s Champions League final which Bayern won 1-0. Ahead of Tuesday’s game, Bayern’s Kimmich and Thomas Muller said they were confident the German champions would move to Parc des Princes.
But it was PSG that advanced, Neymar celebrating with teammate Leandro Paredes in front of an annoyed Kimmich as the referee whistled full time.
“It’s funny because I didn’t even celebrate playing with him, it was more with Leo and I ended up celebrating with him. It was fate that brought me closer. [Kimmich]”Said Neymar TNT Sports Brazil After the game. “He said their team was better, that they would win. He was sure they would go to the semi-finals.”
Bayern won 1-0 despite suffering at the break throughout the game, with Neymar hitting the woodwork twice, but it was not enough for them to progress.
However, that didn’t stop Bayern coach Hansi Flick from saying his side deserved more to move on.
“In both games I think we were the better team,” said Flick, who had to cope without injured striker Robert Lewandowski for both games. “We were a bit lucky, we were missing a few players but we have to accept that.”
Responding to Flick, PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said the German players’ pre-match comments were fair.
“It’s normal that they were confident, it’s a team that won everything and they thought they were the favorites,” said Pochettino.
“Football is such a great game but it’s also a game you never give up and you have to fight. But I understand why they said they were confident, it’s okay to play games of spirit, ”he added.
Neymar congratulated his teammates but stopped before saying that PSG were now the favorites. They will face Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals.
“The message we had to send was given last season, when we reached the final, played a great game against Bayern, who were the best team last year. This year I haven’t seen any this way, ”Neymar said. “In the draw, I told my teammates that we were going to face Bayern, and it happened.
“I told them to be calm, that we were prepared. We had to show ourselves that, that we could do it. It was a great game, even though we were beaten, we played better.”
The club and Neymar are also in the midst of contract negotiations, but the former Barcelona player has said he wants to stay in Paris.
“I don’t think it’s even a subject anymore, I obviously feel very comfortable at home at PSG,” said Neymar. “I feel happier than before.”
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to his report.