PSG: Mbappé cooling on Neymar as Ramos, Messi up Spanish contingent
According to 'L'Équipe', Kylian Mbappé and Neymar are no longer as close as they were as PSG's dressing room has taken on a Spanish-speaking majority.
One of the most enduring images from PSG’s Ligue 1 victory over Montpellier at the weekend was of Kylian Mbappé complaining to teammate Idrissa Gueye after Neymar teed up Julian Draxler for PSG's second. The France international had been substituted just before Draxler’s strike and was seen telling Gueye that the Brazilian had not provided that sort of service when he was on the pitch. In France, the rumour mill has been quick to grind into action and L’Equipe reported on Monday that Mbappé and Neymar have been growing apart since the start of the season.
Back in 2017, the two forwards were inseparable and firm friends on and off the pitch. The closeness of Mbappé and Neymar caused issues with Edinson Cavani in 2018 and became one of the most prolific in European football, producing a raft of goals and a general feeling of bonhomie in PSG’s front line following the Uruguayan’s departure for Manchester United. However, so far this season Mbappé and Neymar have not directly combined for a single goal for PSG, a curious statistic given the number of assists they have provided for each other in the past and one that suggests they are not in synch on the pitch.
Mbappé not fitting in with PSG's Spanish-speaking players
L’Equipe has speculated that Mbappé’s distancing from Neymar has come about as a result of the Hispanicization of the PSG dressing room following the arrivals of Sergio Ramos and Leo Messi last summer, as well as the bond Neymar and his former Barcelona strike partner share. Although Mbappé speaks Spanish, the French daily reports that he is finding it difficult to fit in to the new linguistic panorama and there are some among his teammates who don’t understand why the Frenchman has not attended some social events with his teammates this season.
Neymar, meanwhile, has been enthused by the prospect of playing alongside both Mbappé and Messi this season but the former Monaco striker’s ambition to score more goals himself does not align with the Brazilian’s desire for the three to strike up an understanding between them to become one of the most effective attacking trios in football, according to L’Equipe.