Julian Draxler has defended Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar and his privileged position after recent speculation over the Brazil international’s happiness at Parc des Princes.
Last week, Neymar, 25, chose to publicly address recent rumours about his supposed broken relationships with PSG teammate Edinson Cavani and coach Unai Emery, as well as his general satisfaction with life in the French capital following his world-record move from Barcelona in the summer.
Speaking in a news conference ahead of Germany’s friendly against France in Cologne on Tuesday, Draxler stated that “the tension surrounding Neymar has been created by everything that has been said from the outside.”
“There was the story of the penalty with Edinson, which was settled after one or two days,” Draxler added. “However, everybody else kept talking about it for four or five weeks afterwards.
“I believe that this is part and parcel of life as a superstar like Neymar. A lot of incorrect things are said about him. He is a young man, full of respect, who knows how important he is to the team.
“It is for this reason that he gets a few privileges. Perhaps he also demanded them, I do not know. However, a player like him has the right to do that. The other players are not jealous or angry about this.”
Draxler, 24, was one of the players most at threat after Neymar’s arrival in Paris but the former Wolfsburg and Schalke man has since reinvented himself as a central midfielder under Emery and is now enjoying regular minutes on the pitch.
The Germany international has two goals and two assists from 10 appearances in Ligue 1 this season and recently dismissed speculation linking him with a return to the Bundesliga with champions Bayern Munich.
Despite the speculation over his happiness in Paris, Neymar has still scored seven goals and assisted five more from eight outings in Ligue 1.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.