Paris Saint-Germain’s 5-0 win over Montpellier HSC on Saturday night had many storylines but none more blood boiling than Neymar Jr.’s yellow card in the 38th minute.
By all accounts, Neymar had a brilliant game at the Parc des Princes. L’Equipe rated him an 8 out of 10, which was tied with Angel Di Maria for the highest of any player on the pitch. While he didn’t get his name on the scoresheet, Neymar did play a part in setting up PSG’s first and fourth goals on the night.
In addition to his slick passing, Neymar tortured the Montpellier defenders with a series of flicks, nutmegs, and other tricks that the Brazilian is known for.
With PSG up 1-0 and Montpellier down a man after their goalkeeper received a red card for handling the ball outside of the box, Neymar took things to the next level by attempting a rainbow flick over the head of the Montpellier defenders.
Não gosto do futebol do Neymar e nem da sua pessoa, mas levar um cartão amarelo por dar um drible da lambreta aí é já é demais. É por isso que o futebol da várzea a cada dia vem crescendo. #NãoAoFutebolModerno pic.twitter.com/Egtaan7Cay
— 2020 Realizações (@anderson_kbca) February 1, 2020
Neymar was fouled from behind shortly after this play and then proceeded to run at that player with the ball and humiliate them with a series of stepovers. At this point, referee Jerome Brisard had seen enough and handed out a yellow card. No, not to the Montpellier players who were abusing Neymar, but to Neymar for humiliating his opponents!
Neymar Jr to the referee – “I am playing football” 🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/l5AdmVCgp1
— Seleção Brasil 🇧🇷 (@Brazil_TeamNews) February 2, 2020
You can see in the video where Neymar tells the official that he’s just playing football and doesn’t understand the reason for the yellow card.
As Neymar and the rest of the team walked back to the dressing room at halftime, Neymar had a few additional words for the official who was speaking with Marco Verratti.
This happened yesterday in the PSG tunnel after the referee booked Neymar for showboating.
Neymar: "I play football and this man gives me a yellow card."
Referee: "Speak french. Speak french."
Neymar: "Speak french my ass." 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/DOnIuGR1yQ
— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) February 2, 2020
Neymar: I play football and he gives me a yellow card!
Neymar to Verratti: Tell him he can’t give me a yellow!
Brisard: Speak French!
Neymar: Speak French…my a**!
After the match, Presnel Kimpembe was asked about the incident and his story backs up what Neymar is so upset about.
"É incompreensível! O árbitro disse que o Neymar tirou sarro do adversário e por isso levou cartão". Kimpembe explicou o que o árbitro falou sobre ter dado amarelo para o camisa 10 no jogo contra o Montpellier. Se liga!
— Esporte Interativo (@Esp_Interativo) February 1, 2020
“We will not expose ourselves about the referees, but it is incomprehensible,” Kimpembe said. “Ney asked why, Verratti and me too. His response was quite bizarre. He said that Neymar made fun of the opponent and therefore took a card. It’s bizarre…”
Neymar had the final say on social media where he posted a photo on Instagram with a caption that reads, “I just play football.”
Let’s just make a couple of things abundantly clear. The referee is 100 percent wrong for giving Neymar a card and he should be disciplined for doing so. You cannot give a player a yellow card because he has a God-given ability that few others have.
The fact that Brisard compounded that poor decision by making a xenophobic remark in telling Neymar to “speak French” should lead to an immediate suspension. It’s widely known that Neymar is not fluent in French and telling him to speak the language was the ref’s way of dismissing his feelings. It was discriminatory even if the official didn’t intend it to be.
For the record, Neymar speaks three languages (English, Spanish, and Portuguese). There’s also video evidence that he knows some French.
Neymar is already the most-fouled player in Ligue 1 and on Saturday night, he was on the receiving end of nine fouls out of 15 total for PSG. He’s already abused enough on the pitch and he shouldn’t have to take it from officials as well.
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