Trouble in paradise? PSG fail to defuse fallout from Cavani and Neymar spat

Category lgcmzbzh

first_imgEuropean club football features Share on LinkedIn Read more Read more MCN to LOL: the new super forward lines set to dominate the Champions League Unfortunately for him, it was already too late. Within hours of the final whistle, the rumours were already swirling as newspaper reports suggested that the pair had to be separated by team-mates in the dressing room after the match, with Cavani then eschewing his press duties in the mixed zone and sneaking out of a back entrance less than 20 minutes after the match had ended.Later that evening, sharp-eyed observers of the Brazilian’s Instagram account pointed out that a picture of him celebrating one of the goals against Lyon with Kylian Mbappé and not the other member of the new “NMC” super strike-force, Cavani, was evidence that this was serious. That appeared to be confirmed the following day when Neymar committed the ultimate form of disrespect in the modern world: he unfollowed his team-mate.As the days passed, more rumours began to emerge of the incident’s destabilising effect on the PSG squad. The Catalonia-based newspaper Sport even went as far to suggest that Neymar informed Khelaifi “that his coexistence with Cavani is totally impossible and he has asked for the transfer of the Uruguayan striker”.PSG attempted to play down the incident as they posted pictures of the duo in training at their Camp des Loges base, with Emery happily reporting that Alves had taken it upon himself to organise a dinner for the whole squad at an exclusive restaurant near the Arc de Triomphe the previous evening. “It’s very important for the players to have lunch or dinner all together because they can talk to each other outside the training session,” he said. “I love this state of mind.”Yet Neymar’s withdrawal from the weekend meeting with Montpellier the following day citing a toe injury hinted that things were still not resolved. A 0-0 draw at Stade de la Mosson against a defence marshalled by the 40-year-old Brazilian Hilton saw PSG drop their first points of the season, although there was worse to come.At lunchtime on Sunday, a report by the respected journalist Diego Torres was published by El País which claimed Khelaifi had offered Cavani the bonus to persuade him to relinquish penalty duties for good. But perhaps even more damaging were the claims that the dinner organised by Alves had been “as animated as a funeral wake”, with the majority of the squad said to have sided firmly with Cavani since Neymar’s arrival in Paris. Share on Facebook Reuse this content Neymar Read more It all started 11 minutes from the end of the Ligue 1 fixture against Lyon on 17 September. An own goal from Marcelo had finally broken the deadlock as PSG searched for a sixth successive league victory to start the season when the home side were awarded a penalty. Having previously seen Dani Alves remove the ball from his hands as he prepared to take a free-kick in the first half, Cavani was carefully placing the ball on the spot when his path was suddenly blocked by Neymar.A few brief words were exchanged, with reports in Spain later suggesting that the Uruguay striker – who had missed just twice in 16 previous attempts in Ligue 1 – allegedly responded angrily by saying, “And who is this? Do you think you’re Messi?”Of course, Cavani ended up being denied by a brilliant save from Anthony Lopes before PSG went on to seal a 2-0 victory. Despite Unai Emery’s best attempts to defuse the situation, however, the fallout was only just beginning.“I have told them to sort it out between themselves,” said Emery after the game. “The penalties are to be taken by a few players, one is Cavani and the other is Neymar. It takes a gentleman’s agreement on the pitch. If there is no agreement, I will decide. I do not want it to be a problem for us.” “The list included Di María, Pastore, Matuidi, Moura, Draxler, Ben Arfa, Aurier and Thiago Silva,” read the report. “Some are among the team’s most influential players in recent years and the message [sent by the club], according to one source, was dishonourable. It consisted of informing the players that, because of the signing of Neymar, the club was in need of selling them to obtain income and thus to balance accounts, according to the rules of financial fair play.“French international Blaise Matuidi, one of the leaders of the group, was hurt and forced his transfer to Juventus for only €20m. His course sowed discouragement. To a greater or lesser extent, all members of the staff felt treated as merchandise in exchange for opening a gap to Neymar.”The story was clearly an embarrassment for PSG, who moved swiftly to dismiss the bonus claim as they prepare for the biggest game of the season so far, against Bayern. Pressed on the subject on Tuesday, Emery insisted the disagreement had been resolved.“I have talked to both. They’ll know what to do when they are on the field,” he said, before hinting that exterior forces may have been at play in escalating the crisis. “If people talk about PSG a lot, it’s because this is one of the best teams in Europe, and in the world. That’s why we have more enemies now. They can see that this team is serious, and that with the players we bought this year and in the previous years, we have made a step forward to win the Champions League.”Yet while that dream could still be achieved by a squad which on paper looks a match for anything the rest of Europe has to offer, you get the feeling that we have not heard the last of this particular spat.center_img Share via Email Topics Share on WhatsApp Neymar to PSG: how money and Lionel Messi led to the sale of the century Share on Twitter The Fiver: the Guardian’s take on the world of football Ligue 1 As club statements go, the 19 words Paris Saint-Germain released to the newspaper Le Parisien on Monday to deny a claim that Edinson Cavani had been offered a €1m bonus to step aside from penalty duties in favour of the world-record signing, Neymar, was pretty extraordinary. “PSG formally denies reports which say Cavani would abandon penalties in exchange for the automatic payment of a bonus,” it read.Trouble in paradise? It certainly seems that way. Just 50 days after PSG’s president, Nasser al-Khelaifi, predicted the €222m transfer of the Brazil forward from Barcelona “will bring a very positive energy to this club”, the atmosphere at the Parc des Princes has already turned decidedly sour as they prepare to face Bayern Munich in their Champions League group on Wednesday. Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger Paris Saint-Germainlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *