Neymar says it will be “impossible” to stop Paris Saint-Germain winning the Champions League if they replicate the never-say-die spirit shown in a remarkable 2-1 victory over Atalanta.
The French champions were heading for a shock defeat in Wednesday’s quarter-final in Lisbon as they trailed to Mario Pasalic’s first-half strike heading into injury time.
However, Marquinhos scored a fortuitous equaliser in the 90th minute and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting converted from close range 149 seconds later to complete the turnaround.
Despite being on the brink of elimination at the hands of surprise package Atalanta, Neymar insists he never feared crashing out of the competition.
“I never thought of elimination, I never thought of going home,” he told RMC Sport. “From start to finish, we thought about qualifying for the semi-finals.
“No-one is going to take my mind off that – I want to go to the final. Another level will come from us.
“We are very happy, we are experiencing very strong things. We are a great group, a family, with this state of mind it’s impossible to eliminate us.
“We never gave up, even in difficult circumstances. The desire that I have to win the Champions League was present long before this match, it never left.”
PSG are into their first semi-final since the 1994-95 season, with RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid their opponents in Lisbon on Sunday, and Neymar is desperate to go all the way.
“There is one game left to go to the final. We will give everything, we will do everything to win,” he said.
“It was difficult – Atalanta is a great team, which has played well all season and have been the surprise of the competition.
“We knew that they were very aggressive, that they pressed all over the pitch. They played really well, so we are very happy with what we did.
“Now we’re going to rest because this was a mentally exhausting match.”