The team that didn’t qualify

Ciro Immobile, the well-travelled Italy international will not be setting the world alight at the 2018 World Cup. Due to the current way in which teams qualify for the tournament, Italy didn’t qualify whereas other weaker teams such as Panama are seemingly there just to make up the numbers.

Immobile scored an astounding 29 goals in 33 league games for Lazio this season, making him one of the best strikers in the world right now. Another player not making the tournament is Gareth Bale. Bale scored potentially the best goal in UEFA Champions League Final history with an overhead kick to break Liverpool hearts and because Wales weren’t able to qualify for the tournament he’s got to sit at home to watch.

Immobile and Bale aren’t alone, they are part of a super strong starting 11 of players who aren’t at the tournament and you have to think with this plethora of stars not making the cut, France odds to win world cup have shot up.

To see the strongest starting 11 of players whose teams didn’t make the tournament have a look at the infographic we have put together below.

Neymar unhappy with Lucas Moura’s departure

 
The 25 year old superstar, Neymar Jr., said that he is saddened by Lucas Moura’s move to Tottenham, insisting that his Brazilian counterpart was underused at Paris Saint-Germain. Asked about Lucas’ departure from the French capital, Neymar admitted that he didn’t believe his “good friend” had been treated fairly. 

“I’m sad, because he’s a good friend, he’s a quality player who was rarely used. I think it’s very unfair. He is my brother in football. I wish him the best. Whatever the destination, I hope he will score a lot and he will return to the Brazilian national team.”

“He’s not just a friend, he’s a very good guy. Here he could have been used a lot more but I’m not the owner of the team, not the owner of Paris. For me, he should never have left Paris.”

In the past few weeks it has been quite obvious that Neymar was trying to express his true thoughts and feelings about being at PSG. All of these incidents sturred up some rumours about a possible gigantic and shocking transfer to Real Madrid.

Judging by how the football transfer world works nowadays, we can’t say this option is impossible, especially knowing that the Spanish giants will probably go on a huge shopping frenzy on the end of this season.

PSG are visiting Lille this weekend with a significantly weakened team. Kylian Mbappe and Thiago Motta are injured, while Dani Alves is suspended after receiving a red card in the match played against Lyon. If you’d like to predict this game’s outcome, make sure to visit https://www.unibet.com.au/betting.

Mbappe: “We need to be professional and win games!”

The young French superstar believes his side can only improve after they made a great start in the Uefa Champions League.

 

PSG were planning a comfortable win at Anderlecht on Wednesday, according to Kylian, and they managed to achieve much more than that with a 4 – 0 UCL success.

Les Parisiens destroyed Celtic with 5 – 0, and comfortably beaten the German giant Bayern Munich in their previous games, before Anderlecht became the last victim of Mbappe, Neymar and Cavani’s dark magic.

All three wizards netted in Belgium, with Kylian scoring a record breaking 8th goal as a teenager, giving him many reasons to head back to Paris happy.

“Not every game can be like the one against Bayern. We came here to win well and that’s what we did. We’re happy and go home with the three points. We can always do better and there are lots of games to come, but we need to be able to control our weaker moments as well as our stronger moments.

We haven’t been made to pay yet, but we need to be as vigilant as we can. We need to be professional and win games. It’s extremely satisfying to have kept three clean sheets in the Champions League so far. I intend to keep that going for as long as possible, but I realise that things will get increasingly difficult as we progress in the competition.” – said Mbappe.

PSG are currently 3 points ahead of Bayern in Group B, and have 3 matches remaining in the group stage.

PSG 6 – 2 Toulouse

Neymar scored twice, made two assists and won a penalty as PSG came from behind to beat Toulouse 6-2.

 

Neymar was outstanding in his first game at the Parc des Princes as Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to beat Toulouse 6-2 in Ligue 1, the hosts scored four times in the last 15 minutes following a red card for Verratti.

After being forced to watch the 2-0 victory over Amiens from the stands following his world-record €222million move from Barcelona, the Brazilian scored twice, supplied two assists – one for a stunning scissor kick from Layvin Kurzawa – and won a penalty to ensure the PSG faithful’s wait to see him on home turf was worthwhile.

Neymar – clearly emotional prior to kick-off as a minute’s silence was held for the 14 people who were killed in the two terror attacks in Catalonia this week – was heavily involved in the early exchanges, but PSG were behind when the unmarked Max Gradel slammed a volley home in the 18th minute.

After twice being denied by the woodwork, Neymar, who scored on his debut in the 3-0 win at Guingamp last week, equalised with a poacher’s finish before setting up Adrien Rabiot to give PSG the lead in the 35th minute.

Unai Emery’s side stepped off the gas in the second half and lost Verratti to a second bookable offence with 21 minutes remaining, but, after Neymar was fouled by Andy Delort in the box, Edinson Cavani drilled home a penalty.

Thiago Silva headed into his own net to set up a tense finale, but substitute Javier Pastore’s stunner was outdone by an acrobatic effort from Kurzawa.

Neymar then capped the victory with a lovely individual finish as PSG maintained their 100 per cent record to join Monaco and Saint-Etienne at the summit.

Blaise Matuidi made his debut for Juventus on Saturday following his €20million switch to Turin and returned to Paris for an official send off, but on the pitch PSG quickly focused on the task at hand and Neymar grazed the top of the crossbar from 12 yards in the 14th minute.

However, PSG found themselves behind when Gradel met Kelvin Amian’s right-wing cross with a powerful volley that flew beneath Alphonse Areola.

The woodwork again denied Neymar when the impressive Alban Lafont tipped his header behind via the post, but the Brazilian reacted first after the Toulouse goalkeeper kept out Rabiot to slot home from six yards. Neymar then set up Rabiot, who drilled a fine finish into the bottom-right corner from just outside the box to complete the turnaround.

PSG were unable to open the visitors as freely after the restart and their task was made harder when Verratti, booked for going through the back of Alexis Blin in the opening period, caught Christopher Jullien late and was shown a second yellow card by referee Amaury Delerue.

Still, the hosts extended their advantage when Cavani thumped home a penalty awarded after Delort sent Neymar to ground with 15 minutes remaining.

The stage was set for a tense finish when Silva inadvertently headed a corner past Areola 12 minutes from time, but any nerves did not last long.

Pastore replaced Thiago Motta prior to Verratti’s dismissal and he curled a sublime shot into the top-right corner to restore PSG’s two-goal cushion.

It got even better for the hosts less than two minutes later when Neymar’s arrowed corner was smashed beyond Lafont by a majestic volley from Kurzawa.

Neymar finished the job himself, getting away from Jullien and spinning clear of Issa Diop before beating Lafont low to the goalkeeper’s left, ending a remarkable night in Paris in fitting fashion.

 

Ligue 1: Guingamp 0 – 3 PSG

Neymar marked his debut with a goal and an assist as Paris Saint-Germain defeated Guingamp 3-0.

 

Having taken a watching brief for PSG’s opening-day win over Amiens last weekend, Neymar made his Ligue 1 bow at the Stade de Roudourou on Sunday after his world-record €222million transfer from Barcelona.

The Brazil star took his place on the left-hand side of a front three alongside Cavani and Angel Di Maria and looked lively throughout against opponents who were happy to sit deep and defend in numbers until PSG found a breakthrough thanks to Jordan Ikoko’s bizarre own goal.

Right-back Ikoko, a PSG academy graduate, had been the focus of unfamiliar attention in the build-up as the most likely man to directly oppose Neymar but his downfall early in the second period was all of his own making as his mis-directed pass back towards goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson was too strong and crept in via the upright.

Not to be upstaged, Neymar had a more direct influence on PSG’s second as his delightful throughball released Cavani to coolly beat Johnsson.

And the most expensive footballer on the planet was not done there as he tapped home into an empty net with eight minutes remaining following good work from Cavani.

Inevitably all eyes were on the Brazilian, whose first contribution was to loft an ambitious pass from deep towards the run of Di Maria which proved just too heavy.

Neymar helped carve out the first real chance in the 15th minute, combining neatly with Thiago Motta to free Cavani but Johnsson saved with his legs to deny the Uruguayan.

The first notice of Neymar’s threat was served five minutes later as he jinked inside on his right foot before blasting over from 20 yards, and he almost created the opener as his teasing cross was thumped against the angle of post and crossbar by an unmarked Marquinhos.

Cavani stung the palms of Johnsson with a free-kick as PSG continued to dominate before Neymar had half-hearted appeals for a penalty waved away as he went down under minimal contact from Etienne Didot.

It was Didot who fired narrowly off-target early in the second period to remind PSG this was not a one-man show, but the hapless Ikoko soon grabbed the spotlight in farcical circumstances.

Neymar’s throughball was cut out and ran to Ikoko but his pass back to Johnsson was heavy and wide of the goalkeeper, who had to stretch with his foot and could not prevent the ball rolling in off the left-hand post.

Cavani wasted two presentable opportunities to double PSG’s lead soon afterwards but he did not have to wait long to score his second goal in as many league outings this season as he ran onto Neymar’s sumptuous pass and slotted beyond Johnsson.

Another excellent pass from the ex-Barca man deserved better than Di Maria’s weak finish straight at the keeper as PSG looked to kill the game off – a feat they duly managed as Cavani returned the favour, teeing up Neymar for a simple finish from six yards to cap a wholly satisfactory debut in fitting fashion.