Paris Saint-Germain president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi has hit back at criticism levelled at the French club from both former star Neymar and ex-sporting director Leonardo.
The Brazilian star left the French capital this summer for Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal in a deal worth 78million following his world-record arrival from Barcelona in 2017. However, after securing an exit from the club, he slammed the club over how he felt he and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi had been treated, claiming that the pair had been put through hell.
Neymar, as per AS Sports, said: ‘I was very happy for the year he (Messi) had, but also very sad, because he lived both sides of the coin. He realised a dream with Argentina and won everything, but at PSG he lived through hell. We both did. ‘Messi left (PSG) in a way that, in a football perspective, he did not deserve.
Everything he is, everything he does, anyone who knows him, he’s a guy who trains, fights, if he loses he’s angry and was unfairly accused. ‘It made me very happy that he won the World Cup. Messi deserved to end his career like this.’ Former chief Leonardo also suggested that the pair as well as Kylian Mbappe were not aided by support from the club and the recognition to create a winning environment. As a result, Al-Khelaifi has now hit back at the claims.’Kylian Mbapp is an incredible player and a fantastic person,’ Al-Khelaifi said. ‘And PSG’s team has never been so united on and off the pitch. This is something that we saw in this weekend’s 4-1 win at Lyon.
We have a fantastic coach [Luis Enrique] and sports director [Luis Campos], and I am very happy with the renewed spirit that reigns in the club. ‘This year, in the new PSG cycle, we focus less on results and more on performance and our style of play,’ Al-Khelaifi added. ‘If we do this, the results will accompany us. ‘But some forget that, in the last four seasons, PSG has reached both the final of the Champions League and the semifinal of the same competition and only two other teams have gone further.’