Neymar explained that he and his close friend and former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi “lived through hell” during their time together in the French capital. The Brazilian spent six seasons at PSG on the back of his record-breaking €222m switch from Barcelona. The Argentine seven-time Ballon d’Or winner joined Les Parisiens on a free following his departure from the Blaugranes in 2021. Both Neymar and Messi parted ways with PSG this summer, they respectively joined PIF-funded Saudi Arabia side Al-Hilal and MLS outfit Inter Miami.
Pirès was unimpressed with the Brazilian’s remarks. “I call that being cry-babies“, retorted the 1998 World Cup winner with France in the Canal Football Club TV show. “Being a professional football player means withstanding the pressure. Sometimes, when you play well, you’re glad to receive praise. When you don’t… Well, that’s part of the game.”
Pirès used his own experience in dealing with the pressure during his time with the Gunners. “We have all been criticized. When I joined Arsenal, I had to replace Marc Overmars and they said I was hopeless. I kept my mouth shut, kept working and it eventually paid off.“