Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has insisted Neymar Jr. is an emotional player and did deserve a red card.
Neymar received a red card in PSG’s 1-0 loss to Lille after wrath with Lille’s defender Djalo. Speaking ahead of the Champions League quarterfinal clash against Bayern Munich Pochettino said Neymar ‘likes to fight’, but he did not deserve the red card.
“He was very excited to start a match. He’s an emotional player, he likes to play, he likes to fight, he’s a competitor. He didn’t deserve that red,” Pochettino said.
“He knows he has to channel himself. I hope that tomorrow everything will be fine,” Pochettino said.
On the Champions League Quarterfinals against Bayern, Pochettino insists his side will not go for revenge.
“The final is not a benchmark match for us. We weren’t there with my staff, we were just spectators,” Pochettino who lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the final said.
“In addition, it’s going to be played over two matches, the context is different. Revenge exists in sport but for us, it’s more of a challenge to beat such a strong team, maybe the best in the world. It’s a source of motivation,” Pochettino said ahead of the first leg in Munich.
Meanwhile, Djalo has opened up on what lead to their bust-up and what Neymar did.
“In the dressing room tunnel, he said things to me that I ignored. He even threw tape [that is wrapped around players’ ankles] in my face,” Djalo said.
“What did he say? I don’t know, but they weren’t good things. It is part of the game, but it is what Neymar lacks, a little more respect. Neymar needs to have more respect,” he added.
“The media? They have a share of responsibility. They always end up favoring the most media-friendly players, who end up by being more protected.”