Having successfully defended their Ligue 1 title after a draw against Strasbourg on Saturday night, the Paris Saint-Germain team were joined by most of the squad’s injured players to celebrate a record-breaking 11th league win in the club’s history.
Presnel Kimpembe, Marquinhos, Achraf Hakimi, Fabián Ruiz, Nuno Mendes, and Nordi Mukiele had all travelled to Alsace. The only notably absentee was Neymar – who is recovering from an ankle ligament surgery he underwent midway through the season.
Christophe Galtier had swept aside any potential doubts about the Brazilian’s commitment to the team by telling the press that he was having issues moving around due to his injury. The manager added that Neymar had still been “ever-present” and was with the team for the final training session before the game.
L’Équipe indicate that Galtier was seeking to defuse the controversy that could arise from Neymar’s trip to watch this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco, with the coach’s entourage pointing out that there was no obligation for the injured players to travel. The players who were in Strasbourg had made the trip on their own initiative.
However, L’Équipe add that some at the club are frustrated about Neymar’s weekend in the principality, which is being seen as a form of “provocation“.
The 31-year-old’s absence from the title festivities comes in the wake of reports he could be open to a departure. The fact that Neymar had joined in Barcelona’s La Liga celebrations had also raised questions within the club, although the forward was also in Catalonia to see his son. He had also been present at the PSG Foundation’s Children’s Day last week – but, L’Équipe add, the Brazil international is not ready to accept every request, not least given he is aware of the club’s desire to move him on.
GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin