PSG star Neymar has been blasted by fans online for celebrating a UCL quarter final win over Bayern Munich in front of Joshua Kimmich, despite denying it was intentional.
Speaking after the 3-3 aggregate win on away goals, the Brazilian said it was “fate” that put him in front of the midfielder following the full-time whistle.
“The celebration was not trying to provoke Kimmich, but I saw Leo [Paredes] and wanted to celebrate with him,” he explained to L’Equipe.
“Fate wanted us to do it in front of Kimmich, who had said that his team was the best and that they were going to qualify for the semifinals.”
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“But you can have possession of the ball,” Neymar went on.
“You can flirt with a girl the whole night, and then see her someone else take her home after just five minutes.”
Some fans didn’t buy into denial from the world’s most expensive player, however, and vented their anger with him across social media.
“All lies, he’s looking directly at Kimmich,” said one.
“Zero Class. Bad loser. Terrible winner,” remarked another.
Neymar on celebrating in front of Kimmich 👀 pic.twitter.com/tJQKW6u4GR
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 13, 2021
“Another reason to hate Neymar’s style and overall attitude,” began a more elaborate criticism.
“I wish the guy would act better, then I would dislike him less! Plus, he hasn’t ever done anything much for the world of football!”
“Neymar is a sore loser and a man-child and that’s it,” it was said elsewhere.
“He will never become one of the greats.”
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) April 13, 2021
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) April 13, 2021
It is a shame that such controversy takes the shine off what was one of the 29-year-old’s strongest performances on the continent since heading to Europe from Santos in 2013.
Easily capable of scoring a hattrick had he put his chances away, Neymar apparently joked to coach Mauricio Pochettino that he is saving his successful strikes for the last four.
“I owe him a goal, regardless of the good match I played,” he said.
Given his contract expires in 2022, Ney’s future is on everyone’s lips too, and naturally the Ballon d’Or hopeful was also probed on this matter as well.
“I don’t think this is even a topic any more. I obviously feel very comfortable, [and] at home at PSG,” he insisted to TNT Sports in his homeland.