Neymar has tipped Manchester City to be a “serious” threat in the Champions League.
The Brazilian has likened his new team Paris Saint-Germain to Pep Guardiola’s Blues — lacking history at the top level, but hungry to put down a marker among the elite.
Neymar and his runaway French league leaders face Real Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday, 24 hours on from City’s 4-0 away thrashing of Basel at the same stage.
“I think ourselves and Manchester City need to be taken very seriously," he said.
“There is a similarities between PSG and Manchester City – they might not have the history in the Champions League of the others – but they are both projects that have that ambition to win and create history.
“You have the teams like Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern who have rich history in the competition and they will be among the favourites this year."
Real Madrid are chasing a third successive Champions League triumph, but are struggling domestically — just fourth in La Liga, 17 points behind table-topping arch-rivals Barcelona, and recently booted out of the Copa del Rey at home by little Leganes.
But Neymar isn’t fooled.
“The form of Real Madrid in La Liga means nothing – if anything it makes them more dangerous because now the Champions League is more important for them," he warned.
“They might not be where they expected to be in La Liga – but there is a reason they have won the last two Champions Leagues, and it’s because they have some of the best players in the world and a very good coach.
“That hasn’t changed – and we will still be respecting them like they are one of the best because that is what they are.”
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