Thomas Tuchel praised Neymar’s performance as struggling Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain drew against Nice.
Neymar scored his 50th PSG goal on Saturday – the club’s underwhelming end to the season continuing with a 1-1 draw in Paris.
PSG wrapped up the title on April 21 but Tuchel’s men have now won just one of their last six Ligue 1 outings, while the French giants surrendered a 2-0 lead as they sensationally lost the Coupe de France final against Rennes on penalties.
Neymar appeared to strike a fan following the Coupe de France decider on April 27 amid PSG’s slump but head coach Tuchel was full of praise for the Brazil international following the Nice stalemate.
“He’s been injured since January,” Tuchel told reporters of Neymar, who returned from a three-month lay-off with a broken foot during the 3-1 win over Monaco in April.
“He’s just came back. I’m quite surprised because he played 120 minutes against Rennes and 90 minutes against Montpellier.
“He played a full game today too and unfortunately, he couldn’t score that second goal. It’s a pity but he’s doing well, and all dangerous play come from Neymar.”
“Neymar needs to play high on the pitch because that’s how he’s the most dangerous,” Tuchel said.
“Our goal and task are to find Neymar between the lines, high on the pitch. He shouldn’t have to play deep to get the ball. That’s why he was defending like a second striker. When he plays that high it’s his favourite position.
“That’s how he can be the more dangerous in my opinion because he has someone on the left. He can assist and make the difference.”
Neymar – who arrived from Barcelona in a world-record €222 million transfer in 2017 – has scored 14 Ligue 1 goals this season and 22 in all competitions.