Neymar has played down his recent disagreement with Paris Saint-Germain teammate Edinson Cavani, blaming the media for inventing stories and speaking “about things that they have no clue about.”
Neymar and Cavani argued over who should take a second-half free kick, as well as who should take a later penalty, during the 2-0 victory over Lyon earlier this month.
The public spat led to reports of a rift between the pair, with Le Parisien claiming that Cavani was offered €1 million by PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to allow Neymar to take any future penalties — something that the club denied.
After helping PSG to a 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday, in which Neymar and Cavani both scored, the Brazil international said that the dispute had been massively blown out of proportion by the media.
“They invent a lot of stories,” he told reporters. “They talk too much. They speak about things that they have no clue about. They try to infiltrate the dressing room and end up claiming things that do not exist.”
Neymar and Cavani celebrated together after the latter scored to put PSG 2-0 up against Bayern.
Before the Bayern match, PSG coach Unai Emery revealed he had spoken with both Neymar and Cavani about the penalty situation and its subsequent controversy and “told them how things will work from here.”
Neymar said that he and Cavani had come to an agreement over who takes PSG penalties, but declined to reveal any details.
“It’s already decided,” Neymar is quoted as saying by Globo Esporte. “It stays in the dressing room.”
Meanwhile, Cavani has stressed the importance of PSG treating each other like “a family” following the Neymar controversy.
“Everybody is different,” Cavani told Mediaset Premium. “We might all have different ways of living and seeing things. However, when we are on the pitch, we have to all work together as if we are a family working towards the same objective — for the team to win.”
Neymar and Cavani will next have the chance to pick up three more points with PSG in Ligue 1 at home to Bordeaux this weekend before linking up with Brazil and Uruguay respectively for international duty.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.