PSG will beat Real Madrid without Neymar, proclaims club chief

By @saihoops on
PSG, Neymar, Champions League
Soccer Football - Coupe de France Quarter Final - Paris St Germain vs Olympique de Marseille - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - February 28, 2018 Paris Saint-Germain's Angel Di Maria celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates Reuters / Charles Platiau

Paris Saint-Germain boss Nasser Al-Khelaifi is confident that his team will defeat Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 match next Wednesday (Thursday AEDT). PSG suffered a major blow last Sunday when star striker Neymar was stretchered off the Parc des Princes during the team's 3-0 win over Olympique de Marseille.

PSG confirmed on Wednesday that Neymar will undergo surgery to repair his sprained right ankle and cracked fifth metatarsal. Despite the season-ending injury, Al-Khelaifi believes his team has the mental makeup to overturn a 3-1 first leg deficit against Real Madrid, the reigning two-time Champions League winners.

"Am I annoyed? Not at all. You are always looking for controversy. We remain very strong. I thank his father, who wants to stay with us until the Real Madrid match. We are a family and he is a gentleman. He was here, at the game, he is there for his son and his club, he is a great man," Al-Khelaifi told reporters after PSG's 3-0 Coupe de France quarterfinal victory on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT).

"Real? Of course we believe. If not, why even bother to play? We have a team that can beat Real. It is an important match, but the players are solid -- as they showed here. Everybody is ready, and they want to play, that is the most important thing. We will qualify in the Champions League, the supporters and the players together. We will go through. I repeat, we have the players and the team for it," added the Qatari chief.

Neymar, who left Barcelona for PSG in a world-record transfer in 2017, suffered the injury during the 76th minute against Marseille when he got tangled up with midfielder Bouna Sarr. After landing awkwardly on his ankle, the 25-year-old Brazilian broken into tears before being carried off the field. Despite Neymar's injury, PSG is blessed with a front line that features Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe.