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How Neymar’s PSG dream soured to leave a split looking certain | Darren Tulett

Move was meant to lead PSG to Champions League glory and Neymar to the Ballon d’Or. Now a messy divorce beckons

This wasn’t how the scenario was supposed to play out. Neither for Paris Saint-Germain, nor for Neymar. When the French club brought the Brazilian superstar to Ligue 1 for a world record transfer fee two years ago, each of the actors had their own storyline in mind.

For PSG, grabbing Neymar from rivals Barcelona showed intent. Here was a powerful statement. Not only were PSG not a selling club – they had previously resisted overtures from Barcelona for the Italian midfielder Marco Verratti – now here they were signing one of the most exciting talents on the planet and, moreover, tempting him away from one of European football’s powerhouses. Neymar would be the final piece in an expensively assembled jigsaw (the 18 year-old Kylian Mbappé would join PSG shortly after), built to win the Champions League – the holy grail for Qatari owners only partially sated by the team’s domestic dominance.

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