Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel admits it was his decision not to use Neymar in Friday’s win over Saint Etienne.
The Brazilian played 90 minutes for his country on Wednesday night before returning to his club unscathed in time for his Ligue 1 clash.
Neymar was subsequently ommitted from his side’s match day squad as Tuchel decided to preserve him ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League Group Stage opener at Anfield.
It appears his absence was not doing to injury, but instead concerns on Tuchel’s part that it would be a risk to play him.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss told reporters, per ESPN: “Neymar and I spoke on Thursday. I told him that he was not going to play and that he could not train. However, Neymar felt good and took part in the whole session.”
“That night, he was unable to sleep. I asked Neymar at 10 GMT on Friday how he was, and his reply was ‘I do not know.’ When he told me that, it was an alarm in my head.”
“Neymar played 90 minutes on Wednesday with Brazil, so I did not want to take any risks. Together, we decided that he would not play.”
5 matches 📊
5 succès ✔️
15 points 🔝
17 buts ⚽️
Carton plein 🆒
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) September 14, 2018
Fellow frontman Kylian Mbappe was also absent on the day as he continued his suspension after being sent off in PSG’s 4-2 win over Nimes at the beginning of September.
That meant extended rest periods for the French side’s two star men in preparation for their visit to Merseyside in midweek.
Both promise to hand Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson perhaps their biggest tests yet as glaring restraints on the attacking ambitions of Liverpool’s marauding full-backs.
Nonetheless, it’s the common forward-thinking of Europe’s elite sides that has so often played into the hands of Klopp’s men in recent season.