PSG Star Neymar Defends Himself After Faking to Help Up Fouled Opponent

Neymar extended his hand to Rennes' Hamari Traore to help him up, before withdrawing it and walking away with a laugh.
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Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has claimed that footballers 'cannot do anything' because of the high level of scrutiny around the game.

According to ESPN, Neymar was making reference to a gesture he made towards Rennes player Hamari Traore - offering a hand to help him up after fouling him, and then withdrawing his hand and walking away.

The controversial incident happened during PSG's 3-2 victory over Rennes in the Coupe de la Ligue semifinal.

"Football is a little boring right now," Neymar said. "We cannot do anything -- everything is controversial.

"For example, I made a joke at the end by offering my hand [to Hamari Traore] and then pulled it away. It will cause controversy, but it is the kind of thing that I do with my friends all the time. Why not with opponents? It was just a joke.

"They were stopping me by fouling me and I was playing football. They provoked me but I also know how to provoke, in my own way, with the ball and with my football style. I am not here to kick out -- I do not know how to do that.

"I defend myself with the ball. It will not help if defenders provoke me because I will provoke them even more. I know people will speak about the incident but they should put themselves in my shoes -- I am going to make my team win."

Rennes were unhappy with Neymar's conduct, and made their thoughts clear on social media.

"You are a great player but who had to go off injured following a major foul?" Rennes asked Neymar via Twitter. "A Rennes player, Ismaila Sarr, who has already missed three months of action because of another nasty gesture..."