The Parisian team of superstars has suffered several altercations in the locker room that could alter its performance
Paris Saint-Germain, which has become a football power worldwide due to its exorbitant hirings, is not having a good time despite dazzling the world with its level of play.
The club of the French capital is the current reference of European football. However, that great football moment doesn’t seem to solve the drawbacks that have arisen in the Parisian locker room full of soccer stars.
The team, led by the Spanish Unai Emery, is in the first position of the French league with an advantage of more than eight points. It is installed in the semifinals of the French League Cup, and in the UEFA Champions League it will play against Real Madrid for the last 16.
For any team, this would be a really positive scenario. Especially, if one takes into account that PSG is the most goalscorers team in Europe with more than 100 goals and an average of more than 3.4 goals per game.
The PSG is a goal-scoring machine. Nevertheless, it isn’t a team, or at least that is glimpsed by the different conflicts that its superstars have had.
The beginning of the discord
The situation was heated in the PSG since September 2017, when in the match against Olympique Lyonnais, the Brazilian Neymar, supported by his compatriot Dani Alves, had two impasses with the Uruguayan Edinson Cavani.
The first problem occurred in a free kick awarded to PSG, after Neymar received a foul near the area. Alves took the ball with his hand and Cavani asked him to collect the foul, but the Brazilian defense hidden it and gave it without much trouble to his compatriot Neymar. This move was considered a disrespect for the antiquity of Cavani.
The second problem arose when PSG had a penalty in favor, Cavani seized the ball and refused to give it to Neymar. The Uruguayan kicked the penalty with such bad luck that he missed the shot.
These impasses opened up a lot of rumors and stressed the atmosphere of PSG´s locker room, which has been shaken again in 2018 with two new drawbacks.
The Argentine Javier Pastore and the Uruguayan Edinson Cavani joined late to the PSG training that began in 2018. It generated a big disagreement in the captain of the team, the Brazilian Thiago Silva.
“I still think that what they did isn’t right for the group and the club, the truth is that we are upset because we are in an important part of the season, people have to think before doing thing because this isn’t good”, affirmed Silva in declarations to French media after the PSG triumph over the Amiens in the French Cup.
The tension didn’t stop there, because Silva also said that the late arrival of Javier Pastore could be because the Argentine wanted to leave the team. However, Pastore denied it in a statement written on his official Instagram account: “I never spoke with Thiago Silva about my problems or my future, I never press anyone, it´s not my style”. Cavani was separated from the team by two games while Pastore has not yet played a single minute this year.
The voice of the Parisian fans
On 17 January, PSG defeated Dijon 8 goals to 0 for matchday 21of Ligue 1. Neymar scored half of the goals, and Cavani for his part equaled Swede Zlatan Ibrahimović as the top scorer in the club history.
It seemed like a nice game for PSG, however, it wasn’t. The volatile Parisian team and their fans showed that they aren´t happy, even with a favorable score of 8 to 0.
The problem arose when in the last minutes of the game, a penalty was called in favor of PSG and the Brazilian Neymar took the ball to collect the foul. The entire audience, at the Parc des Princes stadium, asked the shooter to be the Uruguayan Edinson Cavani. If Cavani collected the foul, he would have had the unbeatable opportunity to overcome Ibrahimović as the historical goalscorer of the PSG.
Neymar didn’t attend the request of the fans and they began to jeer him even moments before shooting the penalty. Neymar scored, but he didn’t even celebrate the goal by himself or with his teammates after the game ended.
Additionally, Neymar picked up the ball from the referee because he was the hero of the game with four goals, but the player didn’t attend the media and left the field with abysmal seriousness.
The PSG locker room seems to be falling apart in leaps and bounds, not even its impressive level of play and its excellent statistics have managed to avoid the constant friction between their superstars.
The Parisian club faces various months of competition that could be the best in its history, but to come out victorious its locker room must put aside the fight of egos and must build a united group. The history of sport has shown that a player wins games, but a team wins championships.
Latin American Post | Javier Aldana
Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza