Mario Balotelli has had his say on the Neymar and Edinson Cavani bust-up, after the Paris Saint-Germain forwards fell out over penalty and free-kick duties.
The Nice striker took to social media after L’Equipe published a story about the PSG duo, claiming tensions rose further in the dressing room following the Lyon game.
Balotelli reacted to the front page by snapping it for his Instagram story and accompanying it with the following message, directed at Neymar: “You shouldn’t even ask for shot them”.
It’s not quite clear whether the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker is hitting out at the world’s most expensive player or siding with him.
On first glance it appears Balotelli is saying Neymar is wrong for even challenging Cavani, who was PSG’s top goalscorer last season, over who should take set-pieces.
However, others have interpreted the message as ‘Neymar shouldn’t have to ask to take free-kicks and penalties, it should be his job’.
Neymar and Cavani were involved in an on-field disagreement during Sunday night’s 2-0 win over Lyon, won via two own goals.
The pair argued over a spot-kick during the second half, which Cavani – the side’s usual penalty taker – would go on to take and miss.
Cavani left the field immediately after the full-time whistle, not joining the rest of his teammates in saluting the club’s supporters.
The Uruguayan waited in the dressing room for his teammates to arrive, and then reportedly stopped Neymar in his tracks, telling him in Spanish that he was unhappy with the club’s new poster boy’s attitude.
According to witnesses, Neymar responded before Cavani stood up and went face-to-face with the Brazilian, only for club captain Thiago Silva and Marquinhos – two other members of PSG’s Brazilian contingent – to intervene.
From there Cavani showered and promptly left through a back door, avoiding the mixed zone at the Parc des Princes – within 20 minutes of the final whistle.
Dani Alves, who was involved in the spat during the match by preventing Cavani from picking up the ball for the penalty and handing it to Neymar, spoke to Brazilian television channel SporTV about the incident.
“I took the ball to take the free-kick, because I already scored some goals and I was confident of a repeat,” explained the former Barcelona right-back.
He added, in a barely concealed shot at Cavani: “I think the individual is the least important thing – in the end the team is above any individual.”
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