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Neymar, PSG players call out fans for leaving stadium minutes before title clinched

SportNeymar, PSG players call out fans for leaving stadium minutes before title clinched


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Paris Saint-Germain fans exited a stadium early Saturday just minutes before the soccer club won its 10th Ligue 1 title. 

PSG secured the title in a 1-1 draw at home to Lens in Paris, despite the club’s “ultras” leaving the stadium about 15 minutes before the final whistle. 

Following the match, several PSG players, including famed Brazilian forward Neymar, took aim at the fans. 

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Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain and Florian Sotoca of RC Lens during a match at Parc des Princes stadium April 23, 2022, in Paris.

Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain and Florian Sotoca of RC Lens during a match at Parc des Princes stadium April 23, 2022, in Paris.
(John Berry/Getty Images)

“It was surreal that part of the crowd left the stands,” Neymar said, via ESPN. 

PSG captain Marquinhos called the atmosphere at the stadium “a shame.”

“Football is our passion,” Marquinhos told Canal+. “We’ll try to have as much fun as possible. It’s a shame that won’t be with the supporters, but we have to deal with it.”

Despite PSG winning the Ligue 1 title, fans were still annoyed by the team’s lack of Champions League success. 

Neymar on Saturday referenced the jeering he faced when the team was eliminated from the Champions League following a devastating loss to Real Madrid in the round of 16 earlier this season. 

“They’re going to get tired of whistling because I have another three years left on my contract,” Neymar said. 

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“That’s something I don’t understand,” added PSG midfielder Marco Verratti. “I know that they were disappointed about Madrid, but at some point you have to move on.”

Players of Paris Saint-Germain greet fans after the French L1 soccer match between PSG and RC Lens at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris April 23, 2022.

Players of Paris Saint-Germain greet fans after the French L1 soccer match between PSG and RC Lens at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris April 23, 2022.
(Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino, who earned the first league title of his managerial career, was less critical of the fans, though he argued they should have shown respect “for this title.”

“We are going through a difficult period with the fans, and we hope it will get better,” he said. “We’re in a democracy, and we accept all protests. But we have to show respect for this title.”

PSG forward Kylian Mbappé said he wasn’t going to let the angry fans bother him for what should have been a celebratory moment.

Kylian Mbappe, left, of Paris Saint-Germain in action against Cheick Doucoure of Lens during a French L1 soccer match at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris April 23, 2022.

Kylian Mbappe, left, of Paris Saint-Germain in action against Cheick Doucoure of Lens during a French L1 soccer match at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris April 23, 2022.
(Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“I’m not disappointed, if [the ultras] want to celebrate, they can do so; they don’t want to, so they’re not doing so,” Mbappé told the outlet. 

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“The crowd was here, it’s a minority who left. They’re not representative of all of the supporters, but rather a minority. The stadium was full,” he added. “We celebrated among ourselves in the dressing room; all that was missing was the cup. I’m savoring it.”

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