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Neymar gives ex-Chelsea defenders, Man Utd and Liverpool players high respect

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Neymar gives ex-Chelsea defenders, Man Utd and Liverpool players high respect
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Neymar has named the toughest defender he has faced and delivered his verdict on Virgil van Dijk, Raphael Varane and Antonio Rudiger.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian superstar is well placed to discuss some of the best defenders in world football, having developed into a modern-day great in recent years.

Neymar has scored 110 goals in 153 appearances for PSG and also reached three figures during his spell with Barcelona. Only one player – Pele – has scored more goals than Neymar for Brazil.

The forward rates Manchester City and England star Kyle Walker as his toughest-ever opponent and has also given his taken on Liverpool centre-back Van Dijk, Manchester United defender Varane and former Chelsea man Rudiger.

Asked to name the toughest opponent he has played against, Neymar told DAZN: ‘[Kyle] Walker. Because he’s fast, strong and intelligent.’

On Van Dijk, who is widely considered the best defender in the Premier League, Neymar said: ‘Playing against Van Dijk is tough because as a centre-back he’s so strong and intelligent.

Virgil van Dijk is one of the best defenders in the Premier League

Virgil van Dijk is one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

‘He knows when it’s the right time to close you down and when to go in for a tackle. That makes it harder.’

Moving his attentions to former Real Madrid defender Varane, who moved to Old Trafford in the summer of 2021, Neymar added: ‘I’ve played against Varane many times.

‘He’s a very good centre-back. He’s quick and intelligent. His positioning is very good. He’s a top player.

‘He almost never gets it wrong. That’s why he’s won so much.’

Neymar also admitted that Rudiger – who left Chelsea to join Real Madrid over the summer – is the type of player who ‘strikes fear into you’.

‘Antonio is a centre-back who strikes fear into you. He’s very strong and big. Some forwards get a bit scared,’ Neymar said.


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