Xavi Simons Says He Had A ‘Father-Son’ Relationship With Neymar

Xavi Simons
Xavi Simons

Xavi Simons has opened up on his relationship with Neymar.

Xavi Simons, a Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) loanee, recently spoke about his friendship with former Barcelona star Neymar, who joined Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal this summer.

Simons is presently on loan with Bundesliga club RB Leipzig for the season. The 20-year-old attacker was brought back to Paris after shining for PSV Eindhoven with 22 goals and 12 assists in the 2022/23 season. PSG, which released the player in 2022, activated the player’s buy-back clause, which was thought to be worth roughly €6 million.

While the Brazil international was playing for Barcelona, the two spent time together. Simons was rising through the Catalan club’s youth system at the time before deciding to join PSG.

In an interview with Sky Germany’s Philipp Hinze (via Get Football News France), he stated:

“He already knew me from Barcelona and was like a father to me. I will be eternally grateful to him for that. It was a big dream to play with my idol and he’s still an important person for me.”

“It’s not easy to come into a big team as a young player, with your idols and great stars and Neymar has taken on this role as a father. I am very grateful to him for that,” he added.

When Simons decided to join PSG’s young team in 2019, the two were reunited. The 31-year-old attacker had already joined the Paris club for a whopping €222 million (in 2017).

Simons, a Dutch international, has made just 11 appearances for PSG’s senior men’s team, with one assist. He’ll be looking to match Neymar’s record of 118 goals and 77 assists at Parc des Princes.

Neymar’s Form In Saudi Pro League

This summer, Neymar was one of the top European prospects to join the Saudi Pro League. Among those who have joined the league are Ruben Neves, N’Golo Kante, Karim Benzema, Fabinho, and Sadio Mane.

Neymar al-hilal
Neymar al-hilal

The former Barcelona player was unable to play in his first few games after joining Al-Hilal for €90 million. Due to a muscle issue, he missed the first four league games.

Neymar has only made two starts for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia’s top-tier football competition since his comeback. The forward has three assists in three outings and is still waiting for his first league goal.

The club’s next match is an AFC Champions League away match against Nassaji Mazandaran on October 3.