Neymar Jr: 'I'm really happy in Paris'

Speaking on French TV, the Paris Saint-Germain forward opened up about his life in the French capital.

More than three years into his Parisian adventure, Neymar Jr spoke to the TF1 channel about his life in Paris, his past and his future.

The Paris-Saint-Germain number 10 looked back on last summer's Champions League final defeat, which is a disappointment that now spurs him on. "It's something I didn't like at all. I cried, I really wanted to bring that trophy back to France, but unfortunately we didn't manage to do it that time. We'll have other opportunities, and we're going to do all we can to reach the final and lift the trophy."

He also spoke of his attachment to the club and his hope to wear the Rouge-et-Bleu shirt in the seasons to come. "I really feel happy at PSG. It's changed a lot and I don't know why exactly. I don't know if it's me or something which has changed. But today, I feel good, I've adapted. I'm calmer and I'm very happy here. I want to stay at PSG. I hope Kylian will stay too. Of course that's what all PSG fans want. I want to keep doing what I've always done in Paris: play football and be happy, that's the most important thing."

The Neymar Jr-Mbappé combination has been involved in 43 goals in all competitions this season, and the pair have as close a connection off the pitch as they do on it. "We're like brothers. I'm the older brother, and we love playing together a lot. I want to bring out the best in him. He's a great guy. We call him 'Goldenboy' because he's really made of gold. He has a huge heart. We're very similar and we have to be happy to be at 100%."

The Brazilian forward also talked about the scariest moment of his life: 4 July, 2014, when Brazil were playing Colombia in the World Cup quarter-final. "It was one of the toughest moments of my life. When I was in hospital, the doctor came and told me that he had some good news and some bad news. I told him to start with the bad. He told me that I couldn't play again in the competition. The good was that I would be able to play football again and get back to normal life. The same lesion two centimetres further on, it would have been finished. It really affected me a lot, because when you're facing the other way and get a blow and for just two centimetres your life, your dream and your passion, everything could have been finished, it's not easy. God protected me and I was able to play again."

Born into a relatively modest home, Neymar Jr has never forgotten his roots and set up the Neymar Jr Institute in 2014. Situated a short distance from Santos in Sao Paulo state, the Institute offers extra-curricular activities to underprivileged children and their families from the surrounding area. "It's an idea my family and I had when I was little. Today, it's everything we dreamed of. There are 3000 children a year, and we also look after their families, so that makes a few more than 10,000 people. We're very happy to be able to help that many people. The children learn French, English and Spanish. There are IT courses, volleyball, swimming, karate...there's a medical and dental centre too. I'm really proud of it, because I've never forgotten where I come from and what I learned in that neighbourhood. To be able to give back a little bit of what they gave me thanks to this Insititue, it's priceless for me."

Neymar Jr has big ambitions on the pitch too: "Everything that I can win, I want to win." That sounds great, because the man who has just reached the 100-appearance milestone with the club has a number of objectives for 2021.

Still in the running in three competitions, Neymar will likely be in action this week in Ligue 1 with Nîmes and Marseille the Parisians' opponents.