Tag Archives: Neymar

Neymar told Barcelona teammates about exit at Messi’s wedding, says Xavi

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Neymar dropped the bombshell that he was leaving Barcelona for Paris St-Germain while he was attending Lionel Messi’s wedding this summer, his former teammate Xavi has revealed.

The Brazilian striker moved to PSG for a world record fee of £200 million last summer, in a saga that lasted most of the window. Neymar was at Barca for 4 years, two of those with Xavi, who moved to Qatari side Al Sadd in 2015.

But he chose to tell his then teammates about his impending departure at Messi’s wedding – nothing like pulling focus from the happy couple – in July, Xavi told the World Football Show on the BBC World Service.

“He said to us at Messi’s wedding that he wanted to change club,” Xavi said. “I said to him but why? He said ‘I am not happy in Barcelona, I prefer to leave, to have a new experience in Europe at PSG’ and finally he did, it was his decision, we must respect it.”

Harry Kane the only British name on 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist

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Tottenham Hotspur and England striker Harry Kane is the only British player to make the 30-man shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d’Or – although plenty of other Premier League players have made the cut.

Kane has been in superb form in 2017, scoring 43 goals in 37 games for club and country, and has established himself as England’s number one striker.

But he is the only British name there. Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale – a fixture on the list in recent years – misses out after a season plagued by injury. Jamie Vardy, who made last year’s list, isn’t included after a mediocre year for Leicester City.

Perhaps one English player to be disappointed to miss out is Kane’s team-mate Dele Alli, who has had a stellar 12 months that have seen him establish himself as a star in the Premier League and an automatic pick for England.

But the Premier League is well-represented in the shortlist, with 6 players included. They are: Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane from Liverpool, Chelsea midfielders Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante, Manchester United stopper David de Gea and Manchester City’s midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.

The favourites for the award are, as usual, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have shared the past 9 awards between them – Messi leads 5-4 – with Paris St-Germain pair Neymar and Kylian Mbappe also likely to be in contention.

The other nominees are: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Edin Dzeko (Roma), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Isco (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) and Luis Suarez (Barcelona).

Edinson Cavani rejects big-money offer to hand over penalty duties to Neymar

The row between Paris St-Germain strike partners Neymar and Edinson Cavani shows no sign of abating, with the latest twist coming with reports saying that Cavani has rejected a big-money offer to hand over penalty taking duties to Neymar.

This all started last week when the pair rowed over who would take free-kicks and penalties. Cavani refused to cede taking a penalty to his £200 million strike partner, upsetting the Brazilian. To make matters worse, Cavani missed the penalty.

It seems the pair still haven’t made up, and Cavani is digging his heels in. He took over penalty duties at the start of last season, after Zlatan Ibrahimovic left, and doesn’t want to hand them over, feeling that after four seasons at the Parc des Princes, he deserves to have the responsibility.

PSG’s owner president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has now apparently waded into the argument, offering Cavani euro1 million (£880,000) – the bonus he would receive if he is top scorer in Ligue Un at the end of the season – to give up taking penalties to Neymar, according to French newspaper El Pais. Cavani turned down the offer, saying it is not about the money.

Similarly, Neymar was met by another intermediary and asked to forget about taking penalties, and they received a similar response: No.

The pair haven’t played together since; Neymar missed last weekend’s 0-0 draw against Montpellier with injury. However, he is set to return for PSG’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich this week. Whether the pair will play up front together hasn’t been revealed.

But if they do, is anyone else hoping PSG get a penalty, just to see what happens?

Neymar and Cavani warned to ‘sort out’ their dispute

Paris St-Germain manager Unai Emery has warned his stars Neymar and Edinson Cavani to ‘sort out’ their issues – they clashed over who takes free kicks and penalties over the weekend – or he will do it for them.

Twice in their 2-0 victory over Lyon the PSG pair argued. In the first instance, over who would take a free kick, team-mate Dani Alves had to step in to stop Cavani taking the kick so Neymar could.

Later in the match, the pair argued again over who would take a penalty. In this instance, Cavani won out. But, to make matters worse, he then missed the penalty.

Emery has taken a dim view of his squabbling superstars, and has issued the pair with an ultimatum. “I have told them to sort it out between themselves,” Emery said. “I think that they are capable of doing that and that they will both be our takers.

“If they cannot reach an agreement, I will decide for them. I do not want this to become a problem for us.”

Paris St-Germain sign Kylian Mbappe on initial loan deal

French giants Paris St-Germain have signed Monaco wonderkid Kylian Mbappe on a season-long loan with an option to buy him at the end of it.

PSG’s deal with Monaco says that the option is for Mbappe to sign a contract until 2022 at the end of the loan period.

PSG have an ‘option’ to buy – but this is in all probability a way of complying with Financial Fair Play rules. After signing Neymar for £200 million earlier in the summer, signing Mbappe for anything up to £166 million – would mean the club wouldn’t comply with FFP rules. However, by signing him on loan, and then buying him next season, it means that the transfers are counted in different years.

But reports say that UEFA will look very closely at the deal, although you would expect PSG’s lawyers to have made the wording watertight with regard to any problems.

Mbappe has already spoken to PSG’s website about his excitement at joining. “It is with great joy and pride that I join the Paris Saint-Germain. For any young person from the Paris region, it is often a dream to wear the red and blue jersey and to taste the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes,” he said.

“I was seduced by the project of the club, it is one of the most ambitious in Europe. Along with my new teammates, I intend to continue my progression today while helping the team to achieve the very big objectives it has set itself. ”

With Neymar and Mbappe together up front, that is a scary front line – surely one to challenge those of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Expectations for PSG will now be sky-high – they will be expecting the French title and at least a Champions League semi-final, if not winning it.