Thomas Tuchel admits Neymar had no choice other than to accept boos from Paris Saint-Germain’s own supporters on his comeback appearance.
After an attempted return to Barcelona fell through in the summer, Neymar returned to action for PSG against Strasbourg. He capped things off by scoring an amazing late stoppage-time winner to help Tuchel’s side become sole leaders in Ligue 1.
But the match on Saturday was largely overshadowed by PSG ultras’ brutal treatment of Neymar.
In a likely attempt to shield him, the club made an unusual low-key entrance on to the Parc des Princes. However, the fans continued to whistle and boo at the Brazilian throughout the game.
For Tuchel, though, this comes as no great surprise to both himself and Neymar. Although the PSG coach was happy with the 27-year-old’s response after bagging a superb winner.
“It was not easy because he is a sensitive guy, but he did well,” Tuchel told reporters after the club’s 1-0 win.
“That’s life, it’s not easy for the fans too during the transfer market. That’s why we have to accept their behaviour. I don’t want to judge their behaviour, it’s like that. It was not easy.
“Neymar can play better, with more dribbling and more accelerations. He needs several games in order to find the right rhythm and his physical abilities to make our game faster with his sprints.
“He has the quality to decide the destiny of a game. I am happy he showed that in the last minute.”
PSG now sit two points above Rennes at the top of Ligue 1 after winning four of their opening five games.
The French champions will now prepare for Wednesday’s Champions League opener at home to Real Madrid in Group A.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) September 14, 2019