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Thomas Tuchel lauded Neymar for his selflessness

Since December last year, Mbappe scored his first Champions League goals, netting a brace in Wednesday’s 5-1 victory, the Group H conflict resuming after allegations that fourth official Sebastian Coltescu had exposed Basaksehir assistant Pierre Webo a day earlier to racist language.

After the Paris Saint-Germain star handed over penalty duties against Istanbul Basaksehir to Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Tuchel praised Neymar for his selflessness.

Three minutes before half-time his first came from the penalty spot, Neymar handing over duties at the Parc des Princes having already scored a brace.

PSG coach Tuchel praised that gesture as Mbappe, 21, became the youngest player in Champions League history to reach 20 goals in the competition, breaking the record of Lionel Messi.

“It’s a big gesture because he gave him the ball when he could do a hat-trick. It’s not a common thing for Ney to do a hat-trick in Champions League,” he said at a news conference.

But he gave it to Kylian to give Kylian the ability to complete the stage without scoring a goal.

“It shows that there is a very big heart in Neymar. He thinks about his team-mates at all times. He knows a lot about the importance of scoring for a striker and a guy like Kylian. He has done well.”

Neymar continued to score his third hat-trick in the Champions League, with only Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (eight each) having achieved the feat more often than the international Brazilian.

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He also became the first player in the history of the European Cup/Champions League to score 20 goals or more in the competition for more than one club after managing it for Barcelona as well.

“No, [not surprised by Neymar’s level], because I see he is feeling good,” said Tuchel.

“He needs to have pace. After the ‘final eight’ in Portugal, it was a difficult stage because he gave everything to the team. He got COVID after that, so it was hard for him to get back in good condition and gain some physique capabilities. He could do that in the last few weeks.”

“He is feeling good and can find the pace. He is always able to make a difference. He did it against Leipzig, against Manchester [United], and of course today. It was a good mix between simple football and decisive dribbling, shoots, and goals. A good, good mix, an outstanding performance.”

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