Cry-baby Neymar's made his PSG bed - and now he's got to lie in it
The Brazilian star has thrown an almighty tantrum in an attempt to return to Barcelona and it’s all been rather embarrassing to watch
From arriving one week late for pre-season to telling the world one of his favourite memories is beating his current club, Neymar has created a mess for himself at Paris Saint-Germain and it’s one he may not be able to clean up all that easily.
The Brazilian star has made no secret of his desire to leave Paris after two turbulent seasons with the Ligue 1 champions and his conduct in recent weeks as he looks to force through a transfer back to Barcelona has left plenty to be desired.
Like an oblivious child causing chaos in a supermarket aisle, Neymar needed his father to step in and try to rescue him after the attacker described the famous 6-1 Champions League comeback victory for Barcelona over PSG in 2017 as one of his fondest memories.
"My son did not intend any disrespect to PSG or the athletes who played that match in 2017, some of them are now his club-mates," Neymar Santos Sr. wrote on Instagram.
"Attributing this spontaneous and honest response to a provocation to his current club is a malicious attitude whose sole purpose is to create a controversy where there is not any.
"Many journalists and fans around the world consider this meeting to be one of the most memorable of the player's career. From the end of that game to today, he always remembers this match as one of the most important of his career."
While you can’t blame Neymar for remembering such an extraordinary comeback - a game where the player himself netted twice late on to overturn a 4-0 first-leg loss - the fact he flaunted it in front of his current club without thinking twice is a cause for concern.
Like a husband telling his wife how much he enjoyed a holiday with a former girlfriend, Neymar’s slip up will surely see him sleeping on the proverbial sofa for the foreseeable future.
But, unperturbed by the prospect of being in the doghouse, Neymar proceeded to pour more fuel on the fire by posting a cryptic message to Instagram with an image of him donning a Barca shirt.
This understandably further infuriated scorned PSG fans.
After all, Neymar has been treated like a God since arriving in the French capital. In addition to receiving an astronomical annual salary of over €36 million (£32m/$40m), he has been indulged by the club and, particularly, president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
These special privileges have not paid off, with PSG suffering consecutive Champions League last-16 exits over the last two years, with Neymar unable to contribute in the knockouts due to injury.
Neymar, himself, at least accepted this week that he has made mistakes, but he stopped short of apologising for how he has behaved towards PSG.
"I'm no superhero nor a perfect role model," Neymar said.
"I also have my bad moments, when I want to go home and hide, to stay with my friends and family.
"I'm no superhero that handles all the pressure in the world, but I make an effort because I know what I've become, not only to my family and son, but for most of the children that are here.
"I know I have a huge responsibility and I want to act in the best way possible. Always being honest, that is the most important thing."
Honesty is something this whole situation could benefit from and, according to reports, Neymar has now told PSG of his desire to move on.
However, a return to Barcelona is very complicated for Neymar.
AS reported on Tuesday that the Catalans, who are keen to take the Brazilian back to Camp Nou, had lodged a bid worth €40m (£36m/$45m) plus Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.
But, according to Goal's sources close to the talks, PSG are not interested in selling the 27-year-old for less than €222m (£200m/$249m), the figure they agreed to pay Barca to sign him originally in 2017.
Neymar's past behaviour while at Barcelona has also compromised his chances of a return.
As outlined by Goal in November 2018, there are stipulations over him being accepted back at Camp Nou.
Barca are expecting the player to accept he made a mistake in the way he left the club initially, while he would need to agree to a wage cut and also drop the various legal disputes that exist between both parties.
"He should say sorry. Officially, yes. Say sorry, say he was wrong, say that this is his home, that he is going to be the difference," Barcelona legend Rivaldo also told Goal in June.
"It’s difficult because of the way Neymar left. I think a lot of the fans are angry with everything that happened, but football is how it is, football is good, and Neymar is a great player who has personality."
And even if the past problems are cleared up, Barca currently don't have the money to meet PSG's financial demands.
Thus, they will need to either convince PSG to accept a cash-plus-players deal or accept another formula.
Such manoeuvring has not pleased Coutinho's agent, Kia Joorabchian, who accused Barca of trying to sell his client behind his back.
"Andre Cury (a Barcelona intermediary) is pushing for Coutinho to be included in the transfer for Neymar," Joorabchian told RMC Sport.
"As I said, Coutinho has no offer from any other clubs because we respected Barcelona's decision, but they do not respect the word they gave to us.
"We have been silent in this period, but it will not be allowed for Barcelona to lie about the player. They must tell the truth!
"And if they want Coutinho to leave, they have to say it. With the player, we will decide what is best for his future."
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