In the pair’s feud (Neymar & Mbappe), which began with a disagreement over who should take penalties for the team, Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier has backed Neymar over Kylian Mbappe.
During PSG’s Ligue 1 match against Montpellier earlier this month, Mbappe and Neymar clashed over the order of penalty takers, with the Brazilian refusing to allow his teammate to take PSG’s second spot-kick after the Frenchman’s first effort was saved.
The tension in the dressing room was so bad that veteran defender and former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was reportedly forced to intervene to separate the feuding pair – as cracks reappeared, spectacularly, within the squad.
The incident prompted the club, led by Galtier, to tackle the situation head-on by staging a first-team meeting in which the two were rebuked and apologised.
Fortunately for PSG, there was no repeat in this weekend’s stunning 7-1 victory over Lille – Ligue 1 champions from 2021 – with Mbappe scoring a hat-trick and Neymar scoring twice, but none of the seven goals came from the penalty spot.
Indeed, the bad blood between the two did not show throughout the game, with both not only in excellent form but also complementing each other – Neymar directly assisted two of Mbappe’s goals in the second half.
PSG boss Galtier told Amazon Prime after the game: “Mbappe is the number one penalty taker. For principles, I always define a second (penalty taker) who is obviously going to be Neymar.
“There may be situations like last week where you have to be smart. We have to see how one and the other feel. But that is different, the order is Kylian penalty taker number one and, if he doesn’t score, Neymar will be penalty taker number two.”
There is reportedly rivalry between Mbappe and Messi at the Parc des Princes due to the status of Neymar, and multiple reports last season detailed the depth of the Paris dressing room split.
Mbappe chose to sign a three-year contract extension with the Ligue 1 champions earlier this summer, with reports claiming that as part of the agreement to extend his stay at the Parc des Princes, the striker would have significant sway over the club’s sporting decisions.
Indeed, the appointment of new sporting director Luis Campos could be linked to Mbappe, as the two were teammates at Monaco.
The fallout of the weekend’s incident has continued subsequently with Neymar ‘liking’ two social posts that slammed Mbappe over the episode. The first post included the sentence: “After the game, the coach said that Mbappe will be the team’s main hitter for the season. An absurdity.”