AWhen Neymar disappeared from the big stage of World Cup football, he cried. The end in the quarter-finals against Croatia had hurt the Brazilian. When he reappeared at Paris Saint-Germain, he made a rather awkward appearance. In the league game against Racing Strasbourg, he was first booked for a foul and was sent off two minutes later for a remarkably bad swallow. According to the Canal+ television channel, Neymar left the Prinzenparkstadion during the match.
Another star did better. Ten days after losing the World Cup final to Argentina, the exceptional French striker Kylian Mbappé has successfully returned to everyday life. The top scorer of the World Cup fired on Paris on Wednesday night with a converted penalty in the sixth minute of added time in the home match against penultimate Strasbourg for a 2-1 victory (1-0).
Messi is still missing in Paris
The previous two goals went to Marquinhos: first the Brazilian scored in the 14th minute to give Paris the lead and then he netted an own goal in the 51st minute. PSG obtained their 14th victory in 16 games and remain the undefeated leaders of the French football championship. While Mbappé and Neymar, who had to leave the field in the 62nd minute, were starters, world champion Lionel Messi was still absent from the French champions’ squad. Strasbourg is still in 19th place in relegation.
Two yellow cards in two minutes, a dismissal after trying to flay a penalty: the recovery after the bitter flop of the World Cup was a shame for Neymar. First he accidentally hit his opponent Adrien Thomasson in the face with his hand in a duel, moments later he fell to the ground in the guest penalty area without any contact with the opponent – and had everything to makes reason to see yellow-red with the score of 1:1. The hunt for dates continues on New Year’s Day. In second-placed RC Lens’ lead game, the leaders will still have to do without Messi. And now without Neymar.
Just before the match kicked off, PSG announced that Marco Verratti had extended his contract for two years until June 30, 2026 inclusive. The 30-year-old Italy international has been with the Parisians since 2012 and has won 29 titles with the club since then. The match against Strasbourg was his 399th overall for PSG. He is the second most capped player behind Jean-Marc Pilorget, who made 435 appearances for the club between 1975 and 1989.
Meanwhile, Mbappé is yet to get over the World Cup loss to Argentina. “I guess you’ll never digest that,” he admitted. “I tried to come back with the best possible energy and to be as positive as possible. I didn’t play a crazy game, but I kept believing in myself and pushing because I knew you could turn the tide out of nowhere, and we did that very late in the game.” , the 24-year-old said.
Mbappé also commented on the World Cup celebrations of the Argentina national team and Parisian teammate Lionel Messi. “I spoke to him after the game and congratulated him because it was his goal in life. For me too, but I failed, so you always have to be a good player,” he said. declared retrospectively.
More recently, Argentinian players have mocked Mbappé. Videos of the Argentinians dancing in their locker room have been circulating on the internet, on one of which goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez demanded: “A minute of silence for Mbappé!” “Celebrating is not my problem. You shouldn’t waste your energy on trivial things, for me it’s important to do my best for the club. We’ll wait for Leo to come back so we can win games and score goals again,” said Mbappé.
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