The start to the new dynasty was rolling along perfectly and then the egos emerged at the Parc de Princes. In event you live under a rock the Neymar and Cavani tussle can be found below:
What could possess PSG’s stars to engage in such abjectly juvenile behavior in full view of Ligue 1’s newfound fans? Well as the great philosopher rapper Kanye West said best “We all self conscious I’m just the first to admit it”.
Let’s start with Neymar. The widely bandied theory suggests the Brazilian’s eagerness to rip the ball away was a desire to compete for the Ballon D’or. In this respect who would blame him? At the time of writing Lionel Messi just put 4 goals past a decent enough Eibar side.
To escape the Nou Camp in pursuit of the oxygen outside Messi’s orbit is one achievement; worth perhaps $220M. The priceless achievement however is to rob the front page of ESPN, BBC and Goal.com from the little maestro, the greatest player since colour television. Both a prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most official goals scored in La Liga (358), a La Liga season (50) and a club football season in Europe (73), a calendar year (91), as well as those for most assists made in La Liga (138) and the Copa América (11).
To further point, that whether Messi is possibly “the greatest player of all time” was discussed on ESPN PressPass following his Eibar heroics is a testament to his ability to cast shadows as far as Neymar’s private jet will carry him. So what is Neymar to do? Steal every single moment he can. Steal every freekick he can. Steal every penalty he can.
Now what devil has gotten into Cavani? He fears a repeat of the Ibrahimovic years where he was cast away to the left and as some mused used as a winger more than a vulture centre forward. The poor lad. When the swede left to go Manchester United he was entrusted with the responsibility of being the no.9 again.
More importantly though he had finally regained his status as the north star of the club so Neymar’s rapid start certainly would have placed doubts. Let’s be clear – Cavani is the designated penalty kick taker having taken all for PSG on the season. But one could take the position that the Uruguayan started the scrap by fighting for a freekick in the first clash and reportedly refusing Neymar’s request weeks earlier to take a penalty with the game well settled..
Being thoroughly embarrassed by Dani Alves in the free kick fiasco will only deepen the rift as would the “world against me” dynamics of a million Brazilians around PSG at the moment.
The great shame here is that as the players look to the coach as the grown up to speak up and settle this Emery instead inserted his pacifier and passed off the responsibility.