Neymar disobeys Mbappe with late-night poker and McDonald’s session

There is often a microscope on Paris Saint-Germain when the Champions League rolls around and this year has been no different.

While new boss Christophe Galtier started well at the Parc des Princes, and PSG currently hold a five-point lead at the top of Ligue 1, they have endured a horror start to 2023 and have been beaten in their last three fixtures straight.

And the recent Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich exposed some of the cracks in the side, both on and off the pitch. The last-16 tie against the German champions is far from over, but PSG looked less than convincing in their 1-0 loss.

Kylian Mbappe provided a spark from the bench as he recovers from injury and very nearly dragged PSG back into the match all by himself. And, following the defeat, he called for focus, proper recovery and urged his teammates to rest up before the second leg.

“Everyone needs to be healthy, sleep well, eat well,” Mbappe told reports on Tuesday. “We can do something there. If we are more offensive, they are uncomfortable. Let’s quickly move on and go again.”

And so Neymar obviously did his part; the very next day he featured in a marathon poker tournament which ran late into the evening, before making a trip to McDonald’s.

It goes without saying that footballers aren’t robots and are free to do what they wish in their spare time. After all, it’s the personality and eccentric flair of Neymar which makes him so great.

That said, it’s not ideal to have two of the club’s biggest stars sending out such mixed messages. Indeed, it further highlights the issues behind the scenes at PSG.

Galtier reaffirmed Mbappe’s message that they will need to be fresh for the reverse fixture. “Obviously there is a disappointment but we all knew that there would be no qualification or elimination tonight,” the PSG manager told reporters afterwards.

“We will see in three weeks what state our squad will be in, if we will have recovered freshness and the players we are missing to play a full match at the level of the last half hour played this evening.”

PSG will be put under the spotlight once again when they travel to Germany at the start of next month… whether Neymar is well fed and well rested is another story.

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