No Neymar in PSG Team of the Decade chosen by France Football
Neymar was the most surprising ommission in France Football's PSG team of the decade, with the authorative publication citing his proneness to injury as the reason for his absence.
PSG has just closed one of the most successful decades in the club’s history, having won six of ten league titles between 2010 and 2019, including four consecutive Ligue 1 triumphs between 2012 and 2016.
As the Parisian club eyes the Champions League as the grand objective for the 2020s, France Football has selected its PSG best XI of the last decade, with Neymar, the club’s €222 million record signing in 2017, being the most striking omission by the authoritative French magazine.
Goal: Sirigu chosen before Navas
The chosen man between the sticks is Salvatore Sirigu, the solid and reliable Italian goalkeeper who played for the club from 2011 to 2016. Although, France Football does acknowledge that, based on talent alone, the best keeper to have played at Parc des Princes in the last decade is current number one and former Real Madrid player, Keylor Navas. However, the French publication states that the Costa Rican has not been at the club long enough to warrant a place in its XI.
Defence: a totally Brazilian affair
The defence is a 100% Brazilian-made wall with Thiago Silva (2012-present), Marquinhos (2013-present) and Maxwell (2012-2017). Current captain Silva is an institution in Paris and has found himself fixed in the centre of defence since his arrival.
A strong and profitable investment, Marquinhos is among the best central defenders in the world who also has the versatility to play comfortably as a number ‘5’. Maxwell arrived as a Barça bench player but in Paris he became an indisputable starter at left back, playing 214 games before his retirement in 2017.
Midfield: physicality and skill
The midfield is made up by two current players and two that have left. France Football has included two strong deep-lying midfielders in Marco Verratti (2012-present) and Thiago Motta, who reached his best levels in Paris before retiring in 2018.
Verratti, meanwhile, arrived as a young promise from Italian club Pescara and has cemented his position in the PSG midfield, where he played alongside Blaise Matuidi for several seasons before the latter’s move to Juventus.
The attacking threat comes from Angel Di María, who has also played his best football in the French capital after a difficult season at Manchester United in 2014-2015 and is the joint-fourth top scorer in the club’s history with 79 goals.
Frontline: Mbappé but no Neymar
For the front three, France Football has chosen Edinson Cavani (2013-present), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2012-2016) and Kylian Mbappé (2017-present), with no place for €222-million man Neymar.
“He is not left out for his statistics, of course, even less for his class or his technical skills. The reason is his injuries and, therefore, his absence for the key games at the end of the season," says the French outlet in justification of the Brazil star’s absence.
Edinson Cavani makes the cut as the top scorer in the club’s history with 198 goals. Zlatan, meanwhile, is the second highest all-time goal scorer and was the first big star to arrive at Parc de Princes; with Mbappé as the latest great talent to land at the club. The young French striker has already accumulated 79 goals since his move in 2018, making him joint-fourth highest scorer (alongside Di María) in PSG’s history behind Pauleta (2003-2008, 109 goals). Neymar, meanwhile, is back in seventh place with 63 goals.