Stay here for live results and analysis for all football tournaments.
Complete scores and schedule.
Social media went into melt down about a rift between Brazil’s Neymar, and Uruguay’s Edison Cavani after a dispute over a free kick in Paris Saint-Germain’s latest win.
Neymar and Cavani appeared to strongly disagree over a second-half free kick that was awarded in PSG’s 2-0 win over Lyon on Sunday. Things were not helped when Neymar’s former Brazil and Barcelona teammate Dani Alves Neymar his backing, then insisted on him taking a penalty later in the game, only to see it saved.
However, a similar situation had already arisen back in 2010 with Neymar when playing at Santos. The winger had won a penalty against Atletico Goianiense and demanded to take the spot-kick, but coach Dorival Junior told him he wanted a more experienced player to take it.
Neymar dropped the ball to the floor and walked away, obviously unhappy. The penalty was converted, but Neymar didn’t even look. He threw a water bottle into the air before launching a tirade of abuse towards his coach, then refused to pass to his team-mates for the rest of the game.
‘We’re creating a monster in Brazilian football’
Goianiense manager, Simoes, claimed ‘We’re creating a monster in Brazilian football’, but has now defended Neymar’s actions, saying, “I believe someone promised him that he could be the best in the world. And the best in the world does the same as Cristiano Ronaldo: from the corner kick to the header, penalty, free-kicks… everything. The same happens with Messi. I believe they promised him to be responsible for everything.”
After the French champions spent £198 million on Neymar in the summer, and then pulled off a great bit of business by signing Kylian Mbappe on a loan deal, all the headlines about the Parisians should have been positive this year.
Yet despite a good start to the season, especially for record signing Neymar, all the attention seems to be focussed on a squabble between the world’s most expensive player and fellow forward Edinson Cavani.
It appears that the former Barca man has an issue with the Uruguayan striker for taking all the penalties, so reports have surfaced that PSG have found a way to resolve the issue by making assists and goals both count towards the pairs separate goal bonuses.
However, Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser Al-Khelaifi has insisted that there is no rift between Neymar and Cavani. Al-Khelaifi said: “No, there’s nothing. It’s you, the media, who are making problems.”
French newspaper, L’Equipe, had claimed that the duo had to be calmed down and separated in the dressing room after the game, as it seems their row continued. Meanwhile, Spanish media made the sensational claims that Neymar had asked PSG to sell Cavani.
L’Equipe have also reported that Neymar and Cavani are set to meet to discuss their differences to come to a compromise in talks with PSG’s sporting director Antero Henrique and first team coach Unai Emery.
Following the media reports, Unai Emery said: “Penalties will be taken by a couple of players. One is Edinson and the other is Neymar. There needs to be a gentlemen’s agreement on the pitch when it comes to taking spot kicks. Apart from that, we will have to arrange things internally for when we get penalties because I believe that both are capable of converting them and I want them to alternate with this exercise.”
As well as the goal bonus issues, it seems that Neymar is desperate to score as many goals as possible to give himself the best chance of winning the Ballon d’Or, which will help to justify his decision to leave La Liga, but highlight that he wanted to get out of Lionel Messi’s shadow.
Individual glory does seem to be the Brazilian’s main reason for joining the Ligue 1 side, whilst money is probably a helpful factor.
“Neymar would not have done that to Lionel Messi”
Former Uruguayan international and Manchester United striker, Diego Forlan, came to the defence of his fellow countryman, Cavani, by saying, “Neymar would not have done that to Lionel Messi, to have argued. There are egos everywhere, but there has to be respect for Cavani. He is the PSG goal scorer. When you arrive in a team, you have to show respect. I understand that Neymar is Neymar, but Cavani is Cavani and each one has his place. It’s up to the coach to decide who should be the penalty taker.”