Paris Saint-Germain

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Buffon chasing Juve finale “in less important role”

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Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon thought his chance for a fairytale ending disappeared, but may still claim the last jewel for his crown.

Buffon’s Champions League campaigns have ended at the hands of Real Madrid and Manchester United the past two seasons, the latter at PSG, but the legendary keeper still has something left in the tank after returning to Juventus this season.

[ MORE: Neymar injured again ]

“I felt the need to have that experience in Paris, to go outside my comfort zone,” Buffon told Football-Italia. “There was no guarantee that would go well, but the fact that it did made me a more complete person.

“However, at a certain point, I felt the call of home and family. Being back two weekends per month wasn’t enough for me. I decided to return to Turin, but that wasn’t the only reason. It was like closing a perfect circle with the teammates of a lifetime, albeit in a less important role than the one I had before.”

Buffon won Ligue 1 with PSG last season, his first outside Juve since arriving from Parma in 2001.

Buffon says “it’s a source of pride” that Juve gave him another chance at age 41, where he’s spelling Wojciech Szczesny

“I don’t feel that I’ve given all I can, not the full 100 per cent. Maybe I am missing that 15 per cent I need for the grand finale of this career.”

Neymar injured again as Brazil draws Nigeria

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Neymar is hurt again, limping off the pitch after a dozen minutes of Brazil’s 1-1 friendly with Nigeria on Sunday at Singapore National Stadium.

The Paris Saint-Germain star was holding his hamstring as he exited the pitch and was replaced by Philippe Coutinho.

[ REPORT: Man Utd agrees with Mandzukic ]

Neymar has four goals in five matches for PSG this season after a tumultuous summer saw the star unsuccessful in his bid to force a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Foot and hip injuries as well as a suspension cost him over 20 matches last season, and a broken foot kept him out of just as much action in 2017/18.

PSG faces Nice on Friday before a Champions League trip to Club Brugge.

Nigeria’s Joe Aribo gave the Super Eagles a lead, but Casemiro settled the score before half time.

Ahead of 100th cap, why have Brazil fans turned on Neymar?

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SAO PAULO (AP) Ahead of his 100th game with Brazil, Neymar is adamant that he still deserves special treatment in the national team despite never having won a major title in his nine years wearing the famous yellow shirt.

[ MORE: Report: Chelsea linked with $230 million move for Neymar ]

The 27-year-old forward will reach the century mark in a friendly against Senegal in Singapore on Thursday, and defended his status as the team’s biggest star even though Brazil won this summer’s Copa America without him.

“I was always one of the main figures and one of those carrying it all on my back,” Neymar said at a news conference Wednesday when asked about getting special treatment. “I never ran away from that. I always played my role in the national team very well. When a player reaches that level it is normal that there is a different treatment.”

“I was in places that had players with more history than me and I had to respect what coaches did for them,” the Paris Saint-Germain striker added. “Messi has a different treatment at Barcelona. Is it because he is better looking? No. It is because he is decisive. He earned it. I don’t say that only about myself, but I say it about everyone that has performances at that level. That is normal in soccer.”

Neymar’s comments come at a time when some Brazil fans have accused coach Tite and the Brazilian soccer confederation of being too lenient with the striker over his problems off the pitch. Those include his altercation with a fan after the French Cup final in April; his insistence that his father-agent was allowed into Brazil’s dressing room during a pre-Copa America friendly; and a rape allegation that was recently closed by police.

[ MORE: 37-year-old Petr Cech to make pro hockey debut this weekend ]

Neymar is currently at odds with PSG’s fans as well after trying to force a return to Barcelona during the offseason.

And in Brazil, he remains the country’s most polarizing player.

His statistics with the national team are impressive: 61 goals and 42 assists in 99 games so far. That puts him one goal behind two-time World Cup winner Ronaldo, who is in second place on Brazil’s all-time list of top scorers with 62. Pele tops the list with 77.

With Neymar in the team, Brazil has 70 victories, 19 draws and 10 defeats. But aside from the 2013 Confederations Cup, no titles.

[ MORE: Coleen Rooney accuses Rebekah Vardy of selling fake stories ]

At the 2014 World Cup at home, Neymar injured his back in the quarterfinal win over Colombia and the team was humiliated 7-1 by Germany in the semifinals without him. At least year’s World Cup in Brazil he was far from his best after recovering from a foot injury, and made little impact as Brazil lost 2-1 to Belgium in the quarterfinals.

And this summer he had to miss the Copa America because of an injury he sustained shortly before the tournament.

Asked about his best memories with the national team, Neymar picked his debut, his World Cup debut in 2014 and the goal he scored in the opening game of the tournament against Croatia.

“There is a positive balance, but it isn’t all about victories in the life of an athlete,” Neymar said. “There are many disappointments, defeats and mistakes. But if you fight for it, in the end, you make up for your mistakes. I am very happy to reach that mark of 100 matches. Not even in my best dreams I thought this could happen.”

Live, UCL: Tottenham v. Bayern Munich; Man City v. Dinamo

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The UEFA Champions League group stage takes center stage over the next few days, as Premier League sides Tottenham Hotspur and Man City are both in action on Tuesday.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Spurs host Bayern Munich with Mauricio Pochettino‘s men badly needing a morale-boosting victory after plenty of struggles. Following their draw at Olympiacos two weeks ago, beating Nico Kovac’s Bayern would be a huge step in the right direction for Harry Kane and Co. as they aim to reach the knockout rounds.

As for Man City, they smashed Shakhtar Donetsk in the opening game of Group C and they’ll be hoping to put Dinamo Zagreb to the sword at the Etihad Stadium as Pep Guardiola‘s side chase European glory for the first time in club history.

Elsewhere PSG head to Galatasaray, Juventus host Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid travel to Lokomotiv Moscow in some tasty clashes across Europe.

Below is the full schedule for Tuesday’s late games, with all games kicking off at 3 p.m. ET.

Click on the link above to follow all of the action live, while we will have you covered with a roundup of the action right here on Pro Soccer Talk.


Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League schedule

Group A
Galatasaray v. PSG

Group B
Tottenham Hotspur v. Bayern Munich
Red Star Belgrade v. Olympiacos

Group C
Man City v. Dinamo Zagreb

Group D
Juventus v. Bayer Leverkusen
Lokomotiv Moscow v. Atletico Madrid

Neymar scores late again in PSG win

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Paris Saint-Germain fans may have to return to liking Neymar again.

For the second consecutive Ligue 1 match, Neymar scored late to give PSG all three points in a massive 1-0 win at Lyon. With the win, PSG moved into a three-point lead in the Ligue 1 table.

[READ: Lampard explains why Pulisic has remained on the bench]

After being involved in the buildup in the 87th minute, Neymar found a pocket of space at the top of the box. After receiving the ball and facing up his defenders, he made a quick move to his left, took two steps and fired a strike into the low far corner to put PSG in front.

PSG fans have come out pretty clearly since the summer when news reports surrounding Neymar and his camp made it clear he preferred to leave PSG for a return to Barcelona. It appeared he was willing to give up on his dream to lead the line and be a new star for a team in another league, but the transfer never happened, mainly for financial reasons.

And yet, despite missing most of preseason recovering from his ankle injury suffered on international duty, Neymar returned to the side for coach Thomas Tuchel and has scored two massive goals to help earn PSG six points.

To Neymar’s credit, it appears he’s put his head down since the end of the transfer window and is working hard for his club and his teammates. Despite his hatred from fans and general observers for some of his on-the-field and off-the-field antics, he seems to have the trust of his PSG teammates, and there were many reports that Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were the ones pushing for Neymar to come back from within Barcelona.

Even if he can’t win over some PSG fans for threatening to leave the club, more goals like these will certainly endear him to fans who may have been indifferent over the transfer saga.

Watch the goal below: