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PSG manager, Pochettino plays down talk of Neymar-Mbappe fall out



Kylian Mbappe was reportedly unhappy with Neymar for not passing the ball to him during their Ligue 1 over Montpellier at the weekend. PHOTO: REUTERS

Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has played down media reports of a spat between Kylian Mbappe and Neymar during their 2-0 Ligue 1 win over Montpellier at the weekend.

French media reported Mbappe was unhappy with Neymar for not passing the ball to him and that the France international was then seen voicing his displeasure to a teammate on the bench.

“They’re fantastic guys. These things happen,” Pochettino told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s (Sept 28) Champions League game against Manchester City.

“There are always things between top players. They’re competitors who want to win and help the team achieve.

“I have spoken to them individually. They may have also spoken to each other and there have been photos of them enjoying themselves in training.


“If there’s a small incident sometimes that can create a wave but it’s actually just talk.”

Pochettino had recently defended his decision to substitute forward Lionel Messi   in their league win over Olympique Lyonnais, with the Argentine player appearing puzzled by the move.

The manager said in a news conference on Monday that Messi was expected to play a part against City but would need time to adjust to life in Paris following his switch from Barcelona.

PSG drew their Group A opener 1-1 at Club Brugge drew d while City beat RB Leipzig 6-3.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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