Neymar slams media over Edinson Cavani, Unai Emery stories at PSG
Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar has spoken out against recent reports that he is already unhappy in the French capital and interested in a return to Barcelona, as well as claims that he has issues with teammate Edinson Cavani and coach Unai Emery.
The Brazil international scored one penalty, had another saved and was booked in a 71-minute outing in Friday's 3-1 friendly win over Japan in Lille, France.
Speaking in a postmatch news conference alongside coach Tite, Neymar rejected recent reports of his unhappiness after claims in the Spanish media that he already regrets his summer move.
"I am doing well, happy and very motivated to win with PSG and to be a player who gives his all on the pitch," he said. "And that has been making the [journalists] uncomfortable. They are making up a lot of stories that just are not true.
"They are saying that I don't get along with Cavani or with my coach. But it is very much the contrary. I came to help them out.
"When I got there, we had a meeting and we discussed everything and they explained to me that I was going to help them reach their goals, those of my own and even more, those of the club. They should stop inventing made-up stories that I have problems with my coach. I went there to help out."
Neymar, who was moved to tears at one point during the conference, reminded people that despite his €222 million summer move from Barca to PSG and his superstar status, that he is still only "human."
He went on to explain that he felt obliged to respond to the speculation so that people would not start to believe some of what has been written about him lately, including stories of a fall-out with Cavani after the now infamous "Penaltygate" debacle and frustration with Emery's obsessional video sessions to work on positioning.
"What I want is to be happy, not to make anyone uncomfortable. I know my importance, I know my role and I know that it is the coach who is in charge," Neymar said.
"Of course, on the pitch, people have to improvise and sometimes that takes me out of my comfort zone and you see that I get hurt a little.
"I have tried to talk about it with Tite and with [Brazil general manager] Edu. But these things are made up by someone who is not on the inside, who is not with us during the day to day. It makes me uncomfortable. I am asking [the journalists] to stop and to behave correctly."
Brazil tactician Tite also spoke after the final whistle and was glowing in his appraisal of star man Neymar.
"I have been working with Neymar for the past year and a half and I have never had any problems with him," said Tite. "He is a great guy."
Neymar, Tite and Brazil will travel to London to face England at Wembley next Tuesday for the South Americans' final international match of 2017.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.