Olympique Lyonnais midfielder Thiago Mendes has garnered much criticism for his harsh challenge on Neymar during a recent fixture. Mendes was subsequently shown a red card for the challenge, but the damage was done as the PSG star was stretchered off the pitch with an ankle injury.
Since the on-pitch incident, Mendes has gone on to show remorse over the challenge.
Many have criticized Mendes over the foul, but former Brazilian forward Neto is not among those also bashing the Lyon talent. Neto believes that the challenge itself was not over the top or done with malicious intent. Neto made his case during the Brazilian-based show OS Donos da Bola.
“Thiago Mendes had no intention of hurting Neymar,” Neto said. “He gives the cart, catches the ball, Neymar leaves his ankle and, unfortunately, ends up with a sprain.
“I hope that Neymar will recover as quickly as possible, but Thiago was on the ball.”
Neto is surely not the only one taking this stance. But still, the damage was done as Neymar is currently out of action due to the injury.
PSG and Lyon will meet once again in league play later this season, and Neymar may be looking to avenge the recent loss with a stout performance.
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