Neymar poised for PSG debut at Guingamp
Neymar, the world's most expensive player, is set to make his Paris Saint-Germain debut at En Avant de Guingamp on Sunday after the LFP received the required transfer paperwork from their Spanish counterparts.
EA Guingamp - Paris Saint-Germain
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Neymar - whose Barcelona release clause of €222 million was activated last Thursday - could only watch on from the stands on Saturday as the six-time French champions opened their 2017-18 Ligue I Conforama campaign with a 2-0 win over Amiens SC, with Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore getting the goals.
The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) had been awaiting an International Transfer Certificate from the Real Federacion Espanyola de Futbol (RFEF) in order to legally register Neymar as a Ligue 1 Conforama player, though the deadline - next Sunday at the latest - was met with the paperwork delivered on Friday, and the 25-year-old Brazil star now can't wait to get started.
Watch: Highlights of PSG's opening day 2-0 win!
"I came here because of the whole offer, because of the objectives the club has, the ambition they have… they're very similar to mine," Neymar told CNN in one of his first interviews since swapping Catalunya for the French capital. "They're one of the biggest club's in the world. I want to be part of their history. I came here to make history and win unprecedented titles."
PSG certainly have history on their side against Guingamp, having won four of their last five matches against the Bretons with an aggregate score of 16-2. Unai Emery also has a clean bill of health within his squad, with the likes of Angel Di Maria, Lucas Moura and Julian Draxler also competing for spaces in the final third should Neymar be forced to wait.
Guingamp actually begin the day ahead of PSG by virtue of goals scored, though, having brushed FC Metz aside at the Stade Saint-Symphorien last Saturday with Jimmy Briand, Ludovic Blas and Mustapha Diallo getting on the scoresheet in a come-from-behind 3-1 win.
Watch: Highlights of Guingamp's win at Metz!
Kombouaré: 'Proud of my players'
"We messed up the start of the game and it was a small miracle that we managed to go in at the break level," said Guingamp - and former PSG - coach Antoine Kombouaré after the match. "I'm really proud of my players' performance. Beyond the result, it was how the game unfolded that I appreciated. I want to congratulate the players. They got the job done."
EAG may not have spent quite so lavishly as their weekend visitors over the summer, but the signing of Franck Tabanou - a seasoned Ligue 1 left-sider with over 200 appearances with Toulouse FC and AS Saint-Étienne - on a free-transfer from Swansea City was a shrewd acquisition. He could be set to make his debut in the Guingamp defence, though right-back Jonathan Martins-Pereira has picked up a knock and will miss out.
Guingamp: Johnsson; Ikoko, Kerbrat, Sorbon, Rebocho; Diallo, Phiri, Deaux; Salibur, Briand (c), Coco
PSG: Aréola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva (c), Kurzawa; Verratti, Motta, Rabiot; Di María, Cavani, Neymar
>> PRE-MATCH STATS