Why Neymar, Cavani Were Never Likely to Become Best of Friends at PSG

Neymar and Edinson Cavani engaged in a dispute over taking a penalty kick to lift the lid on their clash of egos at PSG.
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The dust has now settled on Neymar's incredible £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona in the summer, and there's already trouble in paradise at the Parc des Princes.

The Brazilian's motives for joining the Ligue 1 side were well documented; the desire to be the main man being the one that was reported most frequently.

So perhaps the warning signs should have been there ahead of the move - how was a player with an already sky-high ego going to make a quiet transition into a team of worse players?


He was never going to. Neymar has gone from playing with the best player in the world in Lionel Messi, and another absolutely top drawer talent in Luis Suarez, to lining up alongside Edinson Cavani, who as fantastic a striker as he can be, simply isn't in the same bracket as Neymar's old mates - and he doesn't respect him the same.

The former Santos star, fresh from an ego-inflating £198m transfer and an absolute media frenzy, was always going to rock up in Paris with an air of entitlement. It was his moment - he was finally going to become the best and emerge from Messi's shadow.

With such an astronomical fee surely comes automatic responsibility to do all there is to do at your new club - or so that's what he thought during the second half of PSG's recent clash with Lyon.

Neymar arrogantly assumed that Cavani would give up his penalty-taking duties just like that, and didn't like being stood up to by the Uruguayan. Fair play to him by the way for standing firm and carrying out the duty he has earned the right to carry out over his four years at the club. He may have missed, but it was important for him to lay down that marker as a senior squad member - a new player can't just walk in and act like a child, in full view of everybody at the stadium.

There have been reports in the wake of the incident that the pair fought in the dressing room, that Neymar has unfollowed Cavani on Instagram, that the former Napoli striker has been offered €1m to surrender his penalty responsibilities, that the whole dressing room bar the Brazilian contingent are behind Cavani, that Neymar wants him sold.

Then you remember that Cavani was enjoying a new lease of life post-Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He was finally the new main man at PSG following the Swede's departure and was never going to take too kindly to being pushed back into a shadow.

When you think about it, it is little wonder the pair have clashed. Neymar wants so desperately to win a Ballon d'Or and will do everything in his power to get it. Even if it means disrespecting his new teammates.


He'd do well to remember that PSG do actually have some decent players, and that he could use his powers for good and not evil. He is a supremely talented, and with Mbappe on the other wing, they could actually launch a legitimate assault on the Champions League this season, which could deliver Neymar his most coveted form of personal glory.