Paris, Feb 12 (efe-epa).- Before confirming Neymar’s absence for the Champions League Round of 16 game, Paris Saint-Germain’s Ander Herrera wouldn’t dare to say the French team was the favourite against Barcelona. But now, with the Brazilian star sidelined with an injury, Herrera acknowledges in an interview with Efe that PSG is missing “a leader.”
Q: What is PSG missing without Neymar?
A: We lose a natural leader. In tough situations, we know that we can give him the ball and something may happen, even when the team is suffering. In games like the one against Barcelona, in which you don’t get the ball that much, you know you have Neymar in order to find a way. Besides, the other team is always afraid to face players of his caliber.
Q: His absence, is it a moral blow for the team?
A: No, we are PSG players. We are preparing for the match with the firing power that we possess. Last year, we also had games without Kylian Mbappé or Neymar and we showed up. Neymar is important, but we have a good team and good players that are able to assume a leadership role.
Q: Is PSG the favourite team against Barcelona?
A: No, I do not think so. During a round where one of the teams has Messi, the situation has to be 50-50, so I do not see us as the favourite and do not think the club sees it that way either. Barcelona, even if they are not playing at their best, is still Barcelona.
Q: Is Messi far from his top form?
A: He is always number one. He is the best player I have ever seen and played against during my career. The media can say whatever they want. He is still number one and proves it every weekend. EFE-EPA