Since Neymar Jr.’s arrival at Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, the 29-year-old has missed significant matches in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. Last year was the first time the capital club had their superstar for both legs, as PSG would get by Borussia Dortmund.
In PSG sporting director Leonardo’s interview with France Bleu Paris (via Paris Fans), the French media outlet pointed at the Brazil international’s lifestyle and whether that’s one reason for his injuries or bad luck that these incidents occur. Nonetheless, Leonardo didn’t appreciate the comments over Neymar’s lifestyle as one of the reasons for his injuries.
“The remarks bother me a bit. I heard everything. They got injured; [Neymar] is not the only one, not only at PSG. The remarks on his hygiene of life, it’s been a year since people can go out! But then he would do at home? Afterward, we know that Neymar’s life is different, that he is looking for things, but his commitment is irreproachable. We have nothing to say about that,” Leonardo said.
“He’s completely involved. We talk about commonplace as a common place to justify. He said he likes to party, so everyone repeats it like that, but it’s not fair. He is very committed, and he gives us a lot.”
The conversation transitioned to whether the referees should do more to protect his superstars Kylian Mbappé and Neymar Jr. Leonardo states that he doesn’t want his players to get preferential treatment. Still, he wants the referees to remain consistent in their officiating.
“It is not a question of this player or any other. Each has its qualities, its physique. Management is normal. We have a staff for every detail. The choice of rest or not is normal for all players,” Leonardo said.
“For refereeing, we are not asking for special treatment for Neymar or Mbappé. There is a focus on Neymar and Mbappé. We ask the opposite that we do not see that it is not whistled because it is them. We want the referees to be fair. One hit, two blows, after the third; Faults exist. Afterward, he is injured. Verratti, too, he takes a lot of hits. As in Marseille. We only ask for attention to enforce the settlement. It is not to protect, but to be attentive to a mechanism which is set up.”
It will be interesting to see whether the league decides to listen to PSG’s sporting director as their actions have led to injuries for Neymar and Mbappé in the past.
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