'It could be PSG's year': Neymar eyes Champions League glory this season as he reflects on 'very difficult year' in 2019
In a decade or two when Neymar is looking back on his career it is unlikely that he will settle on 2019 as being the most satisfying chapter of his story, but he says that he intends to use last season as a springboard to success.
The Paris Saint-Germain star endued a torrid campaign last year as succession of injuries limited his time on the pitch, while he was also linked to sexual assault allegations in 2019 which were ultimately dropped.
And now, as the first week of 2020 extends, the superstar has spoken about the difficulties he faced on and off the pitch in the French capital and identified the goals he aims to achieve this year.
"My main aim for 2020 is to win everything I can with PSG and Brazil. To take on new challenges, to reach the Champions League final and to win the Copa America again," he said.
"It could be [PSG's year to succeed], yes. In terms of our squad, since I have been here, this is the year that we have been the best prepared―the strongest in every sense.
"Yes, we have a chance. PSG have never won the Champions League, but we will fight to win everything. We know our qualities, the quality of our squad and obviously we hope to be there when it comes to the crunch."
Neymar's endorsement of the PSG project is interesting to note given the repeated stories last season linking him with a return to Spanish football with his former team Barcelona or their arch rivals Real Madrid.
The 101-times capped Brazil forward also noted the incidents which made last year such a trying one for him, referencing - though not specifically mentioning - the sexual assault allegations from which he was ultimately cleared.
"2019 was a very difficult year for me in every way - professionally and personally," he explained. "It was a year of learning, of twists and turns, and bettering oneself.
"I was injured and had to get back on my feet. I ended up hurting myself again. So, it was a year of twists and turns. Even if it sounds like a wasted year, I learned a lot― gained experience."Also on rt.com Brazil police drop Neymar rape case due to lack of evidence
While it remains to be seen if Neymar will once again campaign for a move away from Paris as seemed the case last year, it should be noted that he finished 2019 in fine form, scoring 8 goals and providing 4 assists in 10 Ligue 1 appearances. PSG are currently seven points clear atop the division and can boasts the league's best attack and defensive statistics.
If reports which state that Neymar is now considering signing a new contract with the team prove true and indicate that he has finally found his feet in France, 2020 could prove to be one of the more productive spells of his career.