PSG condemn 'shameful' abuse of Lionel Messi & Neymar by protesting fans & offer ‘full support’ to superstar forwards
- Frustrated supporters take to the streets
- Vented anger towards South American stars
- How long will forwards be sticking around?
WHAT HAPPENED? A passionate collection of fans, known as the SG Ultras, gathered outside the club’s headquarters on Wednesday in order to air their grievances. They are disappointed to learn that Messi, after two seasons in France, will not be extending his contract as he heads towards free agency – with “Messi, son of a b*tch” chants aimed in his direction. Brazilian forward Neymar has also come in for criticism, amid more form and fitness issues this season, with the 31-year-old forward told to “get lost”.
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WHAT THEY SAID: PSG have responded to those that felt the need to take their anger onto the streets outside the team’s base in the French capital, by saying in a statement released on the club’s official website: “Paris Saint-Germain most strongly condemns the intolerable and insulting actions of a small group of individuals that took place on Wednesday. Whatever the differences of opinion, nothing justifies such actions. The Club gives its full support to its players, its staff and all those targeted by such shameful behaviour.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi has struggled to win over the Parisian fan base following his 2021 move from Barcelona, with questions asked of his commitment to the cause, and he has been stung with a two-week ban for making an unauthorised visit to Saudi Arabia. Neymar, meanwhile, lost the support of many when he openly pushed for a return to Camp Nou shortly after his record-breaking €222 million (£195m/$246m) transfer in 2017.
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WHAT NEXT? PSG fans have also voiced their frustration at club chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi, with the Ligue 1 giants on course to defend their domestic crown in 2022-23, but Champions League glory has once again proved elusive despite considerable investment in supposedly superstar performers.