Neymar Sr. Defends Son's Barcelona, PSG 'Remontada' Comments

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2019

PSG's Neymar runs during the French Cup soccer final between Rennes and Paris Saint Germain at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, outside Paris, France, Saturday, April 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Thibault Camus/Associated Press

Neymar Sr. has come to his son's defence after the Paris Saint-Germain star said his favourite footballing memory was the 6-1 win he enjoyed over them with Barcelona. 

In 2017, shortly before the Brazilian moved to PSG from the Camp Nou, he inspired the incredible comeback in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 after Barca had lost the away leg 4-0.

According to Goal's Jack McGraghan, the comments were met with criticism from PSG supporters, prompting the player's father to write on Instagram:

"Attributing this spontaneous and honest response to a provocation to his current club is a malicious attitude whose sole purpose is to create a controversy where there is not any.

"Many journalists and fans around the world consider this meeting to be one of the most memorable of the player's career.

"My son did not intend any disrespect to PSG or the athletes who played that match in 2017, some of them are now his club-mates.

"From the end of that game to today, he always remembers this match as one of the most important of his career."

The comments come after Neymar failed to report back to PSG for pre-season training on July 8.

His absence prompted a statement from the club in which they said he did not have "prior authorisation" from them to miss training and would take "appropriate action."

Sporting director Leonardo has also said the player would be allowed to move on if a sizeable enough offer came in:

Although Neymar's comments will do little to get him back in the club's good graces, Kieran Canning of the Agence France-Press did not believe they were an attempt to provoke PSG:

The match is one of the most memorable in Champions League history, and Neymar played a key role in engineering Barcelona's comeback.

The Catalan giants were 3-0 up after Lionel Messi netted a penalty in the 50th minute, but Edinson Cavani looked to have killed off their hopes of progressing with his 62nd-minute away goal, which required Barca to score another three times.

Neymar scored an 88th-minute free-kick, before converting a spot-kick three minutes later and supplying the cross for Sergi Roberto's dramatic 95th-minute winner.

It's understandable PSG might not be pleased with Neymar's comments, but the Brazilian's impact on the game—and its impact on him—cannot be denied.

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