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Oct 3, 2013

Laurent Blanc downplays Menez bust-up

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani spoke after their strong victory over Benfica in the UEFA Champions League

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has played down the latest incendiary incident involving Jeremy Menez after the temperamental midfielder stormed out of his team's Champions League win on Wednesday.

• Johnson: PSG convince in Benfica win
After warming up for several minutes, Menez, 26, was finally not used by Blanc and headed to the dressing-room before his team-mates after the 3-0 defeat of Benfica before walking moodily out of the Parc des Princes.

"He must have been disappointed because he thought he would come on. I chose a different option. Full stop. That's the way it is," Blanc told Canal+ immediately after the final whistle in the French capital. "Like that, he got [to the dressing-room] before the others. I didn't see him. I was concentrating on the game."

When asked whether he was concerned that a player puts his own situation ahead of that of the team, the former France international defender replied: "No comment. Don't attach too much importance to things like that."

It is not the first time Menez, who is in the final year of his PSG contract, has lost his cool in a Champions League game.

Following his club's 2-1 win at Valencia in the last 16 last season, the France international midfielder made it known to then-coach Carlo Ancelotti he felt he had been brought off the bench too late. The Italian and Leonardo, at that time PSG's sporting director, reacted furiously, even threatening that Menez would never play again for the club until the player apologised.

Blanc too has had first-hand experience of Menez's fiery character while he was in charge of the France national team. Having scored against Ukraine in Les Bleus' second group-stage game at Euro 2012, Menez felt he should have started the final round-robin encounter against Sweden only to find himself on the bench. He reportedly responded by criticising Blanc to his entourage.

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