Football: PSG coach Galtier praises brilliant Neymar's work ethic

Neymar (right) has proven to be an essential piece of PSG coach Christophe Galtier's high-press system. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS - Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier praised Neymar's work ethic on Tuesday after the Brazilian's sterling start to the season.

PSG travel to Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday for their Group H second game in the Champions League and they will be able to rely on what appears to be Neymar's best version.

The 30-year-old forward, who had failed to show his full potential in previous seasons, has already scored eight goals and set up six in seven Ligue 1 games.

He also grabbed an assist in PSG's 2-1 win over Juventus in their Champions League opener last Tuesday.

"It's not just me and my staff. He had a realisation after last season, when he was underperforming," Galtier told a news conference on Tuesday.

"He's got very high goals. He started the season fit, very fit. We have been trying to put him in the best possible conditions. He's a creator, an artist and, when he's well physically, he gives back a lot.

"He is a player who has been working a lot, as much offensively as defensively."

Among the formidable trio of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi, the Brazilian has been the player who has taken the biggest share of the defensive work, proving to be an essential piece of Galtier's high-press system.

His efforts will be more than welcomed on Wednesday as the Ligue 1 champions have been weakened in defence with Presnel Kimpembe's muscle injury, which will keep the France international out for up to six weeks, the club said.

Kimpembe, 27, suffered the injury in PSG's 1-0 victory against Brest on Saturday, leaving him little time to be fit for the World Cup in Qatar.

PSG are second in Group H, behind Benfica, who travel to Juventus, on goal difference. REUTERS

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