Criticism for Lionel Messi, Neymar and Sergio Ramos at PSG
After PSG’s defeat to Marseille in the Coupe de France, their biggest stars received criticism for their poor performances.
Paris Saint-Germain appear to have hit a slump in form at just the wrong time - and Lionel Messi, Neymar and Sergio Ramos are being blamed for their role in it. Although the Champions League is by far and away the most important competition for the French side, Wednesday’s loss to Marseille in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France (even if you don’t speak French, I’m sure you can work out that that’s the French Cup) has led to yet more criticism of a team that has now suffered three defeats in 40 days since the start of 2023.
L’Équipe: “When players run in behind Ramos, he’s in trouble”
The French press - and L’Équipe in particular - are renowned for being difficult to please when it comes to rating players’ on-field performances and Messi, Neymar and Ramos didn’t escape their wrath on Wednesday. The former Real Madrid defender, who conceded the penalty that led to Marseille’s first goal, was given a 4/10 rating from L’Équipe, who commented: “When opposition players run in behind him, he’s in trouble, like Ünder for the penalty. He redeemed himself with a headed goal just before half-time and thought he’d equalised at the end but was flagged offside.”
Le Parisien, a daily newspaper with close links to PSG, were slightly less harsh, giving Ramos 5/10, highlighting that “he is a leader on the pitch”, citing as examples his equalising goal and the two chances he had to score when he went up front towards the end of the game. This coming week could be pivotal with regard to Ramos’ future, with his performance against Bayern Munich in the Champions League likely to decide whether or not PSG feel he can still play at the very top level.
“A player of Messi’s quality can’t lose the ball so often”, say L’Équipe
Messi, meanwhile, has been PSG’s best player in the previous two games in the absence of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé. However, he wasn’t spared from criticism from L’Équipe for his display at Stade Velódrome, which was only worthy of a 4/10. “A player of his quality can’t lose the ball so often”. Although he did receive praise for creating a chance for Ramos right at the death and for his continued efforts to bring PSG back into the game. Le Parisien were even tougher on the Argentine, with his 3.5/10 justified by their view that Marseille centre-back Samuel Gigot came out on top in their duel across the 90 minutes.
Neymar’s performance “worrying” for PSG
But the greatest amount of criticism was reserved for Neymar. The Brazilian returned to action in Marseille after missing PSG’s last two games through injury. For L’Équipe, his performance was “worrying” and they blame the loss of OM’s second goal firmly at the attacker’s feet: “How can a player as good as him think it’s a good idea to dummy the ball in that part of the pitch before the Marseille goal? And how can a player as good as him waste possession so much?”.