PSG's Thiago Silva: 'Amazing' Neymar 'Made Mistakes but Has No Bad Intentions'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2019

TOPSHOT - Brazil's foward Neymar Jr. celebrates after scoring against Colombia during their international friendly football match between Brazil and Colombia at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, on September 6, 2019. (Photo by RHONA WISE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
RHONA WISE/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Thiago Silva has defended team-mate Neymar after he came close to leaving the club in the summer and hopes he'll have a successful campaign at the Parc des Princes.

Neymar was heavily linked with a return to Barcelona during the transfer window, and while Silva conceded there were mistakes on his part, he also praised his Brazilian compatriot.

Per Goal's James Westwood, Silva said: "He also knows that he has made mistakes but has no bad intentions. This boy is amazing. I hope he's going to have a great season. It will be unforgettable too because the PSG will celebrate its 50 years."

The defender said that "management also believes in him" and that he has the backing of head coach Thomas Tuchel, who "has always said he was counting on Neymar."

"I hope he's going to have better days," Silva added. "It's really my wish because we know him; not just the player, but the person. Especially after the last year."

Neymar made his first appearance of the season on Friday and contributed a goal and an assist as Brazil drew 2-2 with Colombia. It was his first outing for club or country since he suffered an ankle injury with the Selecao in a friendly against Qatar in June, which kept him out of the Copa America.

He was still injured upon his return to pre-season training, which he did a week late. Neymar's father cited commitments in Brazil, but PSG released a statement in which they said he did not have permission to be absent from the club.

Amid rumours he could rejoin Barca, he has not featured in PSG's first four Ligue 1 matches. Now that Neymar is back to fitness and the window is closed, he'll likely make a swift return to the starting lineup.

B/R Football @brfootball

When Neymar plays, he delivers ✨ https://t.co/NM8nCLm3f4

His future remains with PSG for the immediate future, and it seems he'll be staying there for at least the full duration of this campaign:

Goal @goal

Neymar will NOT join Barcelona this season, says Bartomeu ❌ https://t.co/E65A0Pl02U

In his first two seasons at the Parc des Princes, he's been injured at crucial times.

Neymar has broken the fifth metatarsal on his right foot in both campaigns. As a result, he has played just one UEFA Champions League knockout match for them, the first leg of the 2017-18 last-16 tie with Real Madrid.

The 27-year-old arrived at PSG for a world-record €222 million fee. Despite winning two league titles and three other domestic trophies in his time there, if his PSG career is to be deemed a success, he needs to do what he was brought there to do, and this season might be his last opportunity.