Although the Parisians picked up yet another Ligue 1 trophy, the mood in the French capital suggests that the star-studded attack has failed to meet expectations.
Triumph in the Champions League was the not-so-secret goal for the ‘MNM’ but losing to Real Madrid in the Round of 16 following a second-leg meltdown was a disastrous result for the trio’s first outing.
Having reached the semi-finals and the final in the previous two campaigns, this elimination was simply unacceptable.
Although club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been able to persuade Mbappe to continue playing with Messi and Neymar, the significant power the club has had to shell out to the French striker appears to have added problems to an already ego-driven squad.
Nearly four years after Neymar and Edinson Cavani clashed over the issue of penalty duty where the Brazilian’s request was denied by Cavani, the roles were reversed earlier this week.
After Mbappe missed a penalty during PSG’s 5-2 thrashing of Montpellier, a second penalty was awarded to the Parisians.
When the Frenchman approached Neymar who was preparing to dispatch his effort, Mbappe’s request was turned down by the Brazilian who went on to score.
With there already being general unrest in the PSG squad after Mbappe was awarded more powers in the club as per the new contract, the penalty taker problem appeared to threaten the continuity of the MNM trio following numerous rumours of Mbappe wanting to oust Neymar from the team.
But PSG’s penalty woes look to have not gone away as Neymar was spotted by fans requesting Mbappe’s permission before taking the penalty kick during the 1-1 draw against Monaco.
While it appeared as if tempers were flaring once again between the two players, fan footage of the aftermath shows there isn’t controversy to create as Mbappe and Neymar were spotted celebrating the equalizer.
After the game, Galtier was inevitably quizzed on the penalty taker role at PSG and the coach stated that as per him Mbappe was the first-choice taker.
“On this match, Kylian Mbappé was the number 1 penalty taker and Neymar was number 2. Ney made the decision to take the penalty after talking with Mbappé. Kylian congratulated him, that’s how it should be,” revealed the Frenchman in his post-match presser.
The French coach’s words suggest that since Mbappe is the first-choice taker officially, it looks like Neymar acted as per his manager’s instruction and checked with the Frenchman before taking the spot-kick.
More than that there appears to be no controversy between the players as of now.
As proven earlier by Real Madrid during their ‘Galactico’ era, assembling the biggest names in football does not always guarantee success on the pitch but it certainly causes a big clash of egos as transpiring at PSG presently almost every week.
If the French club are to succeed in winning a maiden Champions League trophy, then Mbappe and Neymar will have to continue finding solutions to such problems and work together to lead PSG to the final in Istanbul.