PSG's Neymar, Marco Verratti test Novak Djokovic's soccer skills in Monte Carlo

PSG’s Neymar, Marco Verratti test Novak Djokovic’s soccer skills in Monte Carlo

After both starring in Paris Saint-Germain‘s 6-1 trouncing of Clermont in Ligue 1 at the weekend, and with no Champions League quarterfinal fixture this week to worry about, teammates Neymar and Marco Verratti both headed south to Monaco for a little bit of postmatch rest and recuperation.

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The pair spent a couple of days on the French Riviera together, taking in the opulent surroundings and also enjoying a meeting with tennis champion Novak Djokovic, who is currently taking part in the Monte Carlo Masters tournament.

Djokovic is preparing to make his return to the circuit having only played three competitive matches so far this year. Indeed, the 34-year-old top seed, who hasn’t played since reaching the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships in February, is scheduled to take on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round on Tuesday.

Neymar, Verratti and Djokovic met up and it wasn’t long before a football — or more accurately, an oversized tennis ball — was thrown into the mix, with the three athletes enjoying an impromptu kickabout on the Monte Carlo Club concourse.

👌 @neymarjr #marcoverratti pic.twitter.com/7eiZV4BWU8

— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) April 11, 2022

A round of keepy-uppies was attempted despite Neymar opting to wear a pair of clunky hiking boots for the occasion. Things were going well until a wayward touch from Djokovic broke the sequence, sparking a chorus of light-hearted groans from the small crowd that had gathered around.

It’s perhaps harsh to critique the football juggling skills of a 20-time Grand Slam tennis champion but he acquitted himself well. He completed all of his attempted passes, showed good control with his thigh and chest and even a touch of flair with a flick off the outside of his boot, but ultimately his over-reliance on his right foot was his undoing.

Neymar and Verratti hung around to watch a little of the action on offer at the Masters, with the former sharing a photo of the pair embracing courtside alongside the caption “My guy,” to which the latter replied with a single love heart.

Verratti also posted a snapshot of one of the souvenirs he’d acquired during the trip, sharing an image of a tennis ball that had been signed by Djokovic.

“For Marco my dear friend, good luck in everything,” the accompanying message, written in Italian, read.

Currently 12 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with seven games remaining, PSG are set to return to action this Sunday when they face their closest title rivals Marseille at the Parc des Princes.

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