France midfielder Blaise Matuidi would never have swapped Paris Saint-Germain for Juventus had Neymar had his way.
Matuidi ended a six-year stay at Parc des Princes when he joined the Serie A champions for an initial €20 million in August, just over two weeks after PSG smashed the world transfer record to sign Neymar from Barcelona. It meant a three-minute substitute cameo against Guingamp was the sum of the time Matuidi spent on the field with the Brazil superstar in PSG colors, but Neymar was well aware of his quality.
“Without going into details, I had a discussion with Neymar,” the 30-year-old told L’Equipe. “I talked a lot with Dani Alves too, with Thiago Motta. In short, they all wanted me to stay, because, beyond my qualities, I spent six years in Paris and I know this club very well. But my choice was made and I would have been frustrated at the end of my career not to try to play abroad. And what an experience, it is beautiful.”
While PSG boast a commanding 11-point lead at the top of Ligue 1, Juventus are embroiled in a gripping scrap with Napoli in pursuit of a seventh consecutive Scudetto. Maurizio Sarri’s men lead by four points, although Juve’s postponed match against Atalanta last weekend gives them a game in hand.