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SOCCER

Sergio Ramos advises Neymar on his conflict with Kylian Mbappé

L’Équipe claims that the problems between Neymar and Mbappé have not been solved.

Update:
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (L) celebrates with Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe after scoring his team's first goal during the French L1 football match between Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) and AS Monaco at The Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on August 28, 2022. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFEGetty

There is still tension between Neymar and Kylian Mbappé. As L’Équipe report today, the relationship between the pair has not been good. With the World Cup just around the corner, no one wants to get sidetracked and focus on non-sporting matters. PSG have also urged a solution to the problem, although it seems it will take more than an order from the top.

The deterioration of this relationship has not happened overnight. Five years ago, Neymar arrived at PSG as the figurehead. And it looked as if he would occupy that role for a long time to come. That same year, a youngster who had astonished everyone at AS Monaco and who was already being described as a future Ballon d’Or winner, arrived at the club. At the time, Mbappé saw it as a dream to play alongside Neymar, and the roles were still clear.

Mbappé overtakes Ronaldo and Messi as highest-earning player
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Kylian Mbappé during a Paris Saint-Germain training session.Aurelien Meunier - PSGGetty

Roles change at PSG

But as the years went by, things changed. Mbappé's performances were superior to Neymar’s. The Brazilian was weighed down by injuries and episodes of indiscipline that damaged not only the Brazilian’s image abroad, but Mbappé didn’t appreciate it either. The moment finally arrived when the roles were reversed. Mbappé is clearly seen by everyone as the leader of the team and he likes it that way. And with this situation comes the events of last summer, when the club left the door ajar to the possible departure of Neymar, something unthinkable until recently.

Everything that has happened since then between the two is the shockwave that produced the news. The club denied the issues, but in France, with the new power given to Mbappé after his renewal, few doubted that, at the very least, he had not opposed such a decision. Mbappé was, at the very least, surprised by the permissiveness shown towards Neymar’s attitudes over the years.

According to L’Équipe, Neymar went a step further and, behind closed doors, believes that Mbappé played a role in all of this. He also privately admits to being surprised by his team-mate’s new status at the club. Then came the penalty incident against Montpellier, Neymar’s controversial ‘likes’ of posts criticising Mbappé and statements from both, with the Frenchman saying that they have gone from being best friends to speaking very little to each other.

Sergio Ramos key

The penalty episode sparked a dispute in the dressing room in which Sergio Ramos had to intervene. After a season to forget due to injury, the former Real Madrid skipper is back to his best and has been a regular in Christophe Galtier’s line-ups. Considered a leader in the dressing room, Ramos, according to L’Équipe, advised Neymar to respect PSG’s decision to place Mbappé as the main penalty taker, even if he didn’t like it.

“The morning after the match against Montpellier, in front of the whole squad, tension rose between Neymar and Mbappé. To calm things down, Sergio Ramos and Marquinhos, among others, had to intervene. Christophe Galtier and Luis Campos didn’t help either,” notes L’Équipe. Messi also intervened between Neymar and Mbappé to defuse a dispute that has not been repeated since.

It is a conflict that seems difficult to overcome, and that could end up generating instability in the group. The peace agreement appears to have an expiry date, and this would be after the World Cup in Qatar, but after which, life will return to normal, and who knows if the problems between the pair will spill over once again.

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