PSG's Edinson Cavani on Neymar: 'We do not need to all be friends'
Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani has told SFR Sport that being competitive is more important than being friends with Neymar following their recent penalty spat, and also said Unai Emery has not made a decision on which player takes penalties -- despite the Brazil international claiming otherwise.
When questioned about the incident now known as "penaltygate" -- which saw the duo argue over who should take a penalty as well as a free kick in last month's 2-0 win against Lyon -- Cavani said that it is more important to be "professional on the pitch" than "to all be friends."
"The penalty business, it is in the past," Cavani said. "These things happen in football. The important thing now is to find a solution together and to operate as a team. Ultimately, this is what enables you to achieve great things.
"We need to be a competitive team, we do not need to all be friends or like a family. The most important thing is that everybody is professional on the pitch and gives 100 percent. Outside of that, everybody has their own life, their own way of being and their own way of thinking."
Neymar was recently quoted by Globo Esporte as saying "it is already decided -- it stays in the dressing room," regarding the penalty furore.
However, Cavani has cast doubt on that and suggested that Emery has still not indicated to either player who is his first-choice penalty taker.
"What is important is to win and to do that, the solution has to be the best for the team," Cavani said. "The coach must decide what is best for the team. I think that it is the coach who will find the solution. When he makes his choice, it will be like that. Has he taken his decision? I do not know."
Since the controversy, PSG have had one spot kick awarded and that was taken -- successfully -- by Neymar in the 6-2 thrashing of Bordeaux before the recent international break.
After Cavani's latest words, all eyes will be on the Uruguay international and Neymar when PSG take on rivals Marseille at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday.
"To me, every match is important," Cavani said of Ligue 1's most prestigious fixture. "However, the game against Marseille is special -- it is Le Classique. It is a match that represents everything. We usually bring all three points home. It really is something important for everybody -- the supporters and the club. You want to win each and every Classique."
Cavani's opinion on the game goes against teammate Thomas Meunier's words earlier this week that most of PSG's foreign stars do not view the Marseille clash as a special one.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.