PARIS - Neymar's future will be thrown into question after Paris Saint-Germain's failed to progress to the quarter-finals of Champions League for the second successive year.
The Brazilian star sat out Tuesday's second leg tie against Real Madrid with a broken toe, and PSG wen't to lose 2-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate.
Marquinhos, PSG's Brazilian defender who is a close friend of Neymar, has subsequently urged him not to turn his back on France with rumours rife that Real Madrid are prepared to break the bank to attract the former Barcelona player back to Spain.
"I ask him to stay and let things settle down," Marquinhos said. "He is an important player for us. We really need him to have confidence in our project, our players and our coaches."
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring at the Parc des Princes with a head in the 51st minute, that saw PSG's chances of pulling back a two-goal defeat from the first leg vanishing into the smoke from supporters' flares.
A scrappy PSG goal from Edinson Cavani was followed by the cherry on the cake for the defending European champions, with Brazilian Casemiro's deflected goal.
Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said PSG had bowed to Madrid's superior experience at the highest level -- it was the eighth successive season that Real have reached the last eight.
"We know that Real have a lot of experience. We didn't do what we needed to do to win," he said.
The same point was hammered home by Marquinhos: "We need to grow in maturity as a team and show more strength in this kind of match."
Estou triste pela derrota, muito mais triste por não estar em campo ajudando meus companheiros!! O que me deixa orgulhoso é ver o esforço de todos. Parabéns mon gars, ALLEZ PARIS 🤙🏽 pic.twitter.com/wIUiA0nPkw
Translation: I am sad for defeat, much sadder for not being in the field helping my companions!! What makes me proud is to see everyone's effort. Congratulations
Khelaifi insisted it was too early to make major changes, but Unai Emery, the Spanish coach who was given another chance by his Qatari paymasters after PSG spectacularly collapsed against Barcelona in the same competition last season, will surely be shown the door at the end of the season.
Emery previously won the second-tier Europa League three times with Seville but has never taken a club beyond the last 16 of the Champions League.
Mauricio Pochettino, the Argentine who has turned English club Tottenham into a force to be reckoned with this year, is the latest name to emerge as a possible replacement.
Ronaldo meanwhile will be laughing at those who speculated earlier in the season that at 33 his powers were waning.
The World Player of the Year scored twice to punish PSG's slack defending in the first leg in Madrid and his goal in Paris took him to a remarkable 117 in the Champions League, putting him 19 ahead of his eternal rival Lionel Messi of Barcelona.
In truth, the Champions League offers Madrid the only chance of silverware this season. They have virtually conceded the Spanish title to Barcelona and have been knocked out of their domestic cup.
For PSG, there is just the scraps of a near-certain seventh French league title and both cups to look forward to -- scant consolation for a club that wants to conquer Europe.
🇫🇷 Moment de réflexion. Tous déçus et frustré pour cette soirée négative. C’est le moment de ne pas beaucoup parler, juste remercie vous les supporters pour l’ambiance, on est conscients que on pouvez mieux faire. On reste ensemble que notre moment de gloire il arriverais! 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/RQ6UP4N0yE
Translation: Moment of Reflection. All disappointed and frustrated for this negative evening. It's time not to talk much, just thank you supporters for the ambience, we are aware that we can do better. We stay together as our moment of glory would happen!