Galtier tells Neymar what he thinks of McDonald's visit while chips are down at PSG

By Sports Desk February 17, 2023

Christophe Galtier has held talks with Neymar after a photograph emerged of the Paris Saint-Germain forward in a fast-food outlet – the day after Kylian Mbappe implored team-mates to eat healthily.

PSG head coach Galtier noted Neymar played in a poker tournament on Wednesday and visited a McDonald's branch with friends.

It came at a point when PSG's season has reached crisis point, with three damaging defeats in succession putting Galtier under pressure.

There was criticism of Neymar on social media when a picture of his trip out emerged. It appeared a day after a 1-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, a result that followed a Coupe de France loss to Marseille and a Ligue 1 setback at Monaco.

Notably, it followed Mbappe telling team-mates "everyone has to eat well and sleep well" to be in prime shape for the March 8 second leg in Munich.

Galtier explained how Mbappe's message in a television interview was the same instruction he had delivered in the Parc des Princes dressing room.

"He spoke with real maturity and determination so that everybody stayed focused, and I am pleased that he said that," Galtier said.

"I am not going to make connections between Kylian's words in the dressing room with a photo of Neymar in a fast-food restaurant.

"I have spoken to Ney. I told him what I thought. Neymar has the right on his day off, his recovery day. He likes playing poker, and he has the right to play poker. I told him what I thought about the photo, and that will stay between him and me.

"But I don't think there is any need to make a connection between what Kylian Mbappe said and the photo."

Mbappe was only a substitute against Bayern as he returned from an injury lay-off. He came off the bench and twice had the ball in the net, but offside judgements denied the hosts an equaliser.

PSG play Lille in Ligue 1 on Sunday, and Galtier indicated Mbappe will be in the starting line-up.

"We need to win this weekend," Galtier said. "We have a better chance of winning if Kylian Mbappe is playing than without him, so he will play."

Related items

  • Bowen backs Alexander-Arnold to adapt to new England midfield role Bowen backs Alexander-Arnold to adapt to new England midfield role

    Jarrod Bowen backed Trent Alexander-Arnold to flourish in England's midfield having started the Three Lions' opening two games at Euro 2024. 

    The Liverpool vice-captain, who operates as a right-back for his club, has featured alongside Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham in England's win over Serbia and draw against Denmark on Thursday. 

    Alexander-Arnold's inclusion in Gareth Southgate's midfield was a huge talking point heading into the tournament, yet it remains to be seen whether he will continue in that role in their final Group C fixture against Slovenia. 

    The 25-year-old has been replaced in both games by Conor Gallagher in the second half, despite no player created more chances (3) or played more line-breaking passes in the final third (5) for England against Denmark than Alexander-Arnold. 

    "Trent's a top player and I don't think anything phases him in terms of wherever he's playing, right back, left back, middle of the park," Bowen said. 

    "So yeah, like I said, he's a top player and he understands what it takes to adapt to a new role, I suppose.

    "Everyone's so close here, there's lots of conversations after games when people have done well. But like I said, he has got to adapt and now he's playing it."

    Bowen himself has had to adapt to a new role at West Ham, having spent his previous four seasons predominantly in the wide attacking areas. 

    However, injuries to Michail Antonio saw Bowen play much of the 2023-24 season as a centre-forward, scoring seven of his 16 league goals from that position. 

    "Every role requires different things. I'm predominantly a right-winger, if I play on the left it's going to be different with the way I dribble with the ball," Bowen said. 

    "I like to dribble inside when I'm out on the right being left-footed and then when you're playing left wing you're dribbling down the outside because it's your stronger foot. Little things like that can go into learning a new position.

    "Striker again is obviously different. I think Trent, the way he plays and the way he passes the ball, and you see those long-range passes that he does. I think the energy that he's got to get into the box as well.

    "I saw him the other night getting really high up the pitch as well. Like I said, the quality when he puts that ball into the box as well. It's a real big credit to him.

    "I think he's adapted well to the thing. It's never easy. I can speak from experience of going to, not a new position, because you know, for me, I always found myself at centre-forward, even when I was playing on the wing.

    "So, you kind of just kind of naturally edge towards that position kind of anywhere when you're playing the position. It's never easy, but you know how to change as a top player, and I know that he's adapted really well to the challenge."

  • Guler 'wasn't fit to play' in Portugal defeat, Montella insists Guler 'wasn't fit to play' in Portugal defeat, Montella insists

    Vincenzo Montella defended his decision to bench Arda Guler against Portugal, insisting the teenager "wasn't fit to play" in Turkiye's 3-0 defeat.

    Eyebrows were raised as Guler was forced to settle for a place on the bench, while only appearing for the final 20 minutes of his nation's loss in Dortmund, despite making such a positive impact in their opener against Georgia.

    The Real Madrid prodigy scored a sublime long-range effort in the 3-1 victory, becoming the youngest player to find the net on his European Championship debut in the process.

    The 19-year-old only played 10 times in LaLiga last season, with Montella believing a lack of competitive action is a concern for his players.

    "Arda wasn't fit to play," the Turkiye head coach said. "I can say clearly he could not play more than 30 minutes without increasing the risk.

    "There was also a temptation of not putting him 20 minutes from the end, but I finally gave in because good players must play, in my opinion.

    "Because we often tend to forget that most of our footballers are not used to playing with continuity in their clubs, and I am talking about one game a week. When you play once every four days, it's another sport. You need to be physically fit, you need to be prepared.

    "Arda is a great, smart guy. He is very passionate about his country, is proud of his country. But even though he knew that he was risking an injury by playing, he wanted to be on the pitch."

    Despite that Portugal defeat, Turkiye are second in Group F with three points, and a draw from their final game against Czechia would be enough to secure their place in the last 16.

  • Scotland ready to 'prove people wrong' against Hungary, says McGinn Scotland ready to 'prove people wrong' against Hungary, says McGinn

    John McGinn believes Scotland have the mentality and capability "to prove people wrong" heading into their final Group A fixture against Hungary in Stuttgart. 

    Steve Clarke's side know a victory is a must to give them the best chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of a major international tournament for the first time in their history. 

    Scotland have won two of their last three meetings with Hungary (L1), with this their first encounter since a 1-0 away win in March 2018. 

    Following their 5-1 thrashing to hosts Germany in their opening game, an injury-hit Tartan Army got a point on the board against Switzerland to keep their hopes of qualification alive. 

    "We've obviously had a lot of injuries along the way - but us Scots are best at enduring adversity," said McGinn. "Hopefully we can prove a lot of people wrong.

    "We have players who've been involved in high-pressure matches, but we're not feeling pressure, we feel anticipation about being that team who changes things for Scottish football.

    "I don't think a lot of people across Europe thought we could do it, so we want to be the ones who do.

    "We all know the magnitude of the occasion. We have the chance to write our name into the history books."

    A win for Clarke's side would put them on four points from their three group games which in previous tournaments, has proved enough to qualify as one of the best-ranked third-placed sides. 

    Hungary arrived in Germany on the back of a 14-game unbeaten run, but are winless in their last eight Euros matches (D4 L4). However, the Scotland head coach is not underestimating his opponents despite their form at the tournament. 

    "Nothing except three points for us is what we're thinking," said Clarke. "We need to get three points to at least finish third in the group and we'll see where that takes us in the competition.

    "Everybody knows how big a game it is. You can talk and talk and talk about it.

    "We probably did a little bit too much with the first one, so we're trying to underplay this one, if you ever can with a game of this magnitude. But we're trying to make sure we're well prepared and ready to go."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.