Neymar is often accused of falling too quickly. Now he himself is the victim of a swallow – and freaks out during the PSG match against Marseille.
Neymar is the subject of controversy. On his best days, the Paris Saint-Germain superstar plays football of a different kind – and still often causes irritation among fans and experts.
The Brazilian is said to have a tendency towards theatricality: some spectators see him go down too quickly in a duel or stay down too long after an alleged foul. The fact that he often complains vehemently to the referee does not help his image either.
The 30-year-old also lost his temper at times during Sunday’s top match in Ligue 1 against Olympique Marseille. His outburst of rage was triggered by a swallow – which was not committed by Neymar himself, but by his opponent.
This is how the wild scene played out in the Parisians’ 2-1 win: Neymar felt he had been fouled by ex-Schalker Amine Harit deep in his own half, but the referee let it go on. After a few words to the linesman, Neymar got up and ran towards Matteo Guendouzi, who was now in possession of the ball.
Teammates have to hold Neymar back
Neymar came hurtling in, Guendouzi went down spectacularly. What at first glance looked like a frustration foul was a clear swallow. The referee drew the yellow card, which finally set Neymar on edge. He shouted at Guendouzi – who Bundesliga fans know from his time at Hertha BSC – lying on the pitch and swore loudly in the direction of the referee and linesman.
His own team-mates had to restrain the angry superstar. TV commentator Jonathan Pearce was distraught on BT Sports: “Neymar’s reaction is unbelievably stupid. Bouncing and jumping around … I said in the first half that he had a new maturity. That’s certainly not the case, is it?”
In the end, Neymar, who had fired PSG into a 12th-minute lead, did calm down. His team won in a competitive match, and PSG could clinch the Ligue 1 title on Wednesday.