While there are obvious benefits to splashing the cash and pooling world-class talent into one star-studded squad, the presence of big personalities and egos b such as those possessed by Paris Saint-Germain forwards Kylian Mbappe and Neymar b is always likely to cause problems. The reigning Ligue 1 champions have been finding that out to their cost in 2022-23, with rifts emerging in the Parc des Princes ranks.
Why have French and Brazilian internationals been butting heads and what has been done to try and resolve a supposed feud that could cause irreparable damage to collective harmony? GOAL takes a look…
What is the Neymar – Mbappe \’feud\’ about?
There had been talk of tension in the camp prior to matters reaching boiling point in a Ligue 1 clash between PSG and Montpellier on August 13, 2022.
In the 21st minute of that contest, World Cup winner Mbappe fluffed his lines from the penalty spot seeing his effort saved by Jonas Omlin.
PSG were then awarded another spot-kick a couple of minutes before the interval, with Neymar this time deciding to pick up the ball and take matters into his own hands.
Mbappe was, despite his earlier miss, visibly annoyed at being removed from penalty duty and went as far as airing his grievances in Neymarb s ear before the Brazilian waved him away and duly found the back of the net.
There was also an incident during the game where after being overlooked for a through-ball by Portuguese midfielder Vitinha, Mbappe stopped running and threw his arms up in the air.
The drama continued after a final whistle had been blown, and there are reports of Sergio Ramos having to intervene as Mbappe and Neymar threatened to come to blows in the dressing room with heated questions being asked of supposed acts of petulance.
Things did not stop there, with Neymar going on to like a tweet from a supporter that suggested Mbappeb s lucrative new contract b which he signed on the back of being heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid as a free agent – had left him feeling like the b owner of PSGb .
There have been reports of power going to the Frenchmanb s head, with there being talk at one stage of him pushing to get a South American colleague moved out of Paris during the summer transfer window.
Can the Neymar b Mbappe rift at PSG be repaired?
Mbappe and Neymar were all smiles in PSGb s next outing, against Lille, with the deadlock broken in that contest after just eight seconds.
A talismanic front three, which also includes seven-time Ballon db Or winner Lionel Messi, all combined to see Mbappe record what would be the first of his three efforts in an impressive hat-trick display.
GOAL learned ahead of that fixture that discussions had been held behind closed doors regarding divides in the PSG ranks.
A team meeting was held in an attempt to get to the bottom of the issue and have everybody singing from the same hymn sheet once more.
Senior officials were involved in those talks, with Neymar and Mbappe told to bury the hatchet and learn how to co-exits for the good of the team.
The entire PSG squad was present when those requests were made, with everybody under strict orders to obey the rules and put on positive displays in public b especially on matchdays when a global spotlight falls on them.
Head coach Christophe Galtier believes the matter has been swept under the carpet, saying when quizzed on a potentially costly breakdown in professional working relationships: b There is no discomfort, it\’s fine.
b Of course, we quickly met the next day to iron out all that and say what we had to say to each other. That\’s why there is no malaise and I confirm it with a lot of sincerity.b
Mbappeb s new contract is set to keep him at Parc des Princes until 2025, while Neymar b the most expensive player on the planet – is working on terms through to the same summer.
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