Tearful Neymar defended by coach Tite
Having scored one penalty and missed another penalty in Brazil's 3-1 win over Japan in Lille yesterday, Neymar then cried at a news conference after his coach defended his reputation.
Brazil coach Tite was moved to defend Neymar following reports this week in the French media that Neymar has fallen out with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) coach Unai Emery. Reports in Spain even linked Neymar who only just joined PSG for a world-record fee of US$260 million with a move to Real Madrid.
Speaking after the win against Japan, Neymar insisted he is happy at PSG.
"I had a great welcome at PSG. Everyone treated me with care and respect," he said. "Any move to a new place of work has difficulties, it takes a while, but it also depends on people at the club to make adaptation quicker. That's what happened to me, I adapted quickly."
He also dismissed reports of a fallout with Emery.
"I talked to Tite, this is something that has hurt me little by little," Neymar said. "These stories are made up by people who are not in PSG, who are not there day by day."
After Tite defended Neymar, Neymar cried, hugged Tite, and left the conference.
According to reports, Neymar has been unhappy with Emery's use of video to review matches considering them too long and they also had a falling out during a training session. Sports daily L'Equipe reported that Neymar even did the opposite to what Emery asked on one occasion.
Neymar was rested last Saturday as Angers was beaten 5-0, with Emery saying he was being rested because of a minor knock, which further fuelled stories of tensions between them.
Neymar continued to dismiss them.
"I don't like made up stories. My trouble is with part of the press. It is not against everyone," Neymar said. "It is against those that think they know it all, but they don't."
In September, Neymar was caught in the middle of a media storm when he argued with PSG teammate Edinson Cavani over who should take a penalty, which Cavani - the club's top scorer this season and last - eventually did.
Emery did not make it clear afterward who is the designated penalty-taker going forward.
"I have no issue with Cavani, no issue with the coach. On the contrary, I came to PSG with his support," Neymar said. "We had a meeting and he said he was going to help me, help me achieve goals with the club and the group. I want this story of me having problems to end."
Tite sternly took Neymar's defense, which led to Neymar crying.
"People always said I had problems with Neymar. We are sick of hearing that. I can say he has personality and character," Tite said. "We are not perfect, we are human beings. Sometimes we react in the wrong way. I did that in my career. But we have to be careful when we talk about people's character and nature. I can talk about Neymar's character, nature, and big heart."
Brazil's other goals were scored by Marcelo and Gabriel Jesus in the 17th and 36th minutes respectively, while Tomoaki Makino got Japan's lone goal in the 63rd.