A Brazilian gay rights activist has filed a criminal complaint against Neymar for homophobia, after the football superstar called his mother’s boyfriend an anti-gay slur in comments leaked to the media.
The Sao Paulo prosecutor’s office confirmed to AFP it had received the complaint, which it must now examine to decide whether to open a case against the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star.
Neymar’s communications team declined to comment on the complaint.
The case was brought by activist Agripino Magalhaes, who said on Instagram he planned to press charges against Neymar and his friends for “criminal homophobia, hate speech and death threats” over comments made in a private conversation on a gaming site.
In the audio recording, Neymar, 28, can be heard using slurs against his mother’s new boyfriend, Tiago Ramos, as he and his friends discuss a supposed fight between the couple.
Ramos, 22, and Neymar’s mother, Nadine Goncalves, 52, announced in April they were dating.
Brazil’s tabloid press was soon running lurid stories about Ramos, a model who is openly bisexual.
Neymar and his friends were discussing rumors that the new couple had had a violent fight, after Ramos was hospitalized last Tuesday with arm wounds sustained at Goncalves’s house, according to police.
Neymar said his mother had lied to her family, indicating he did not believe her story that Ramos had tripped on the stairs and cut himself on a pane of glass.
One of his friends can be heard saying that they should assault Ramos with a broomstick in the anus.
Neighbors reportedly said they heard screaming from a fight at Goncalves’s house the night Ramos was injured.
However, Neymar’s communications team said Ramos and Goncalves had testified before police that the incident was a “domestic accident.”
Neymar “will always be welcome” back at Barcelona, the Spanish giants’ striker Luis Suarez told Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday.
Neymar left Barca in a world record move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 but has been persistently linked to a possible return to the Camp Nou.
Suarez told the paper: “Everybody knows ‘Ney’, we all know the affection we have for him in the dressing room.
“His ability is indisputable and he still has so much to show. He will always be welcome in the changing room, we appreciate him a lot.”
Suarez, 33, recovering from right knee surgery, said it was “complicated” to talk about players joining Barca at this time of crisis with the coronavirus pandemic.
“But I can talk about players, and these are huge players,” he commented when asked by the paper to discuss the rumours linking the 28-year-old Neymar with a Barca return.
The Uruguayan also had warm words for Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez, the 22-year-old Argentine whose name also been associated with a move to Catalonia.
“Lautaro is a player who is progressing in Italy, he is a flexible centre-forward, with spectacular moves and that shows what a great a striker he is.”
Questioned about how any eventual new signings would fit in Suarez said: “There will always be a healthy rivalry between us, and while we are all focused on the same objective, that is winning, any players who come in to help the team achieve its aims will always be welcome.”
He then turned to last week’s deal with the club to cut players’ wages by 70%, with Barca captain Lionel Messi accusing the club of undermining the squad during negotiations.
“There were some things that were said that were false, like that the players didn’t want to see their salaries reduced, that some were against it.
“That they (club management) were saying that without being part of the squad was annoying. It annoyed all the players.”
Suarez emphasised all the players were united from the start in wanting to help the club as much as possible.
“The deal was delayed because it’s not easy to revoke the salary of 22-23 players.
“It was worked out between the club and the players’ lawyers, but it wasn’t easy to do.”
Neymar has donated $1 million to fight the impact of the new coronavirus in his native Brazil, according to TV network SBT.
The Paris Saint-Germain star, the world’s third-highest-paid footballer, donated part of the money to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the rest to a charitable fund launched by his friend Luciano Huck, a Brazilian TV presenter, the report said.
The striker’s press office declined to comment, saying: “We never talk about donations or amounts.”
Neymar, 28, followed the example of PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe, who last month made what was described as a major donation — amount undisclosed — to a French charity helping fight the impact of COVID-19.
Huck, who has been touted as a possible candidate in Brazil’s 2022 presidential election, launched his fund to help poor Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.
The donations come as high-paid footballers face pressure to forego some of their salaries amid the crisis, which has ground the sporting world to a halt and left some clubs struggling to pay their staff.
Neymar is riding out the pandemic at his luxury villa in Mangaratiba, a resort town outside Rio.
He faced criticism last week after he was photographed relaxing with a group of friends on a beach volleyball court, even as half the world’s population — including most of Brazil — is in confinement to slow the virus’ spread.
His press team said he was receiving no visitors and was in quarantine at a “completely isolated” residence with people who made the trip from France with him.
Paris Saint-Germain shrugged off having to play in an empty stadium as Neymar set the French club on their way to a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday that took them into the Champions League quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate.
PSG came into the game at the Parc des Princes needing to overturn a 2-1 defeat in the first leg of their last-16 tie in Germany, but Neymar’s 28th-minute header put them ahead on the night in the second leg amid a surreal atmosphere, as banned supporters gathered outside the ground instead.
Juan Bernat then deflected in a Pablo Sarabia assist to make it 2-0 and PSG — for whom Kylian Mbappe was only fit enough to appear as a substitute — go through to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2016.
The victory breaks a run of three straight exits in the first knockout round of the competition, at the hands of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Indeed Dortmund are just the fourth team PSG have defeated in a Champions League knockout tie since the Qatari takeover in 2011, following wins against Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen and Chelsea, the latter on two occasions.
However, their opponents were disappointing, with Erling Braut Haaland never looking like repeating his first-leg heroics when he netted twice. They finished the game with 10 men as Emre Can was sent off late on.
This was one of several Champions League matches this week and next being played out in an empty stadium after authorities banned fans from attending due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Fireworks Outside Ground
However, PSG fans still congregated in significant numbers outside the stadium despite the French government banning all gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
Those supporters brandished flares as the team bus arrived before the game and sang and set off fireworks throughout the match.
Mbappe was only named among the substitutes after struggling with illness and even undergoing a test for coronavirus in the build-up to the game.
The France striker missed two training sessions this week with a sore throat and a fever. His test for COVID-19 came up negative.
His absence from the starting line-up was just the latest blow for coach Thomas Tuchel, who was also without the suspended Marco Verratti and injured centre-back Thiago Silva.
That meant Edinson Cavani and Pablo Sarabia started through the middle of the attack, while Argentine international Leandro Paredes was selected in midfield.
Cavani was denied the opener in the 25th minute when Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki stretched out a leg to tip his shot around the post.
The opening goal followed soon after, with Angel Di Maria swinging in a corner from the right and Neymar stealing in front of his marker to stoop and head in from close range.
The PSG supporters outside the ground responded to the Brazilian’s second goal in the tie by exploding more fireworks in celebration.
Jadon Sancho and Thorgan Hazard tried their luck from outside the area for Dortmund but PSG scored again in first-half stoppage time.
This time Di Maria laid the ball out to Sarabia on the right side of the box, and his low driven ball was diverted into the far corner by Bernat.
Di Maria nearly scored another in the second half from a free-kick before Mbappe came on with just under half an hour remaining.
Dortmund were only one goal away from forcing extra time but rarely troubled Keylor Navas in the home goal and Can saw a straight red card with a minute left for throwing Neymar to the ground.
The Brazilian was also booked following that incident along with Di Maria, now watching from the dugout and who will miss the quarter-final first leg as a result.
Neymar has criticised Paris Saint-Germain’s handling of his recent injury after scoring in the 2-1 defeat at Borussia Dortmund, which leaves the French club facing the prospect of another early Champions League exit.
After missing four games in the last fortnight with a rib injury, the Brazilian superstar looked short of match fitness in Tuesday’s last-16, first-leg, defeat at Dortmund.
Norwegian goal-machine Erling Braut Haaland scored twice to make him the Champions League joint top-scorer, but Neymar gave PSG a lifeline for the second leg in Paris on March 11.
He tapped home for what could prove a crucial away goal after being set up by France striker Kylian Mbappe in the second half.
Neymar has been named in the Paris Saint-Germain squad for Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg at Borussia Dortmund, despite missing the French club’s last four games through injury.
The world’s most expensive player has been struggling with a rib problem but was expected to be fit in time for the game at Signal Iduna Park.
The Brazilian missed last season’s surprise last-16 loss to Manchester United with a foot injury, while he also sat out the second leg of the defeat at the same stage of the competition by Real Madrid in 2018.
Neymar was rested, along with Kylian Mbappe, for PSG’s remarkable 4-4 draw at Amiens in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
“He will be in Dortmund, I’m sure of it, but without being in the best shape he was in two weeks ago,” Tuchel said before the Amiens game.
“But he will help us. I am sure and convinced of that.”
PSG are yet to reach the Champions League semi-finals since being bought by their Qatari owners in 2011, with their run to the last four in 1994-95 still the closest they have come to lifting the European Cup.
Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel on Friday said he was “sure” that Neymar would recover from his rib injury in time to play some part in the French club’s Champions League last-16 first leg against Borussia Dortmund next Tuesday.
The world’s most expensive player has been out of action with the problem since the win over Montpellier on February 1 and could miss Saturday’s game against Amiens.
But Tuchel insisted that Neymar would be fit for the clash at Signal Iduna Park.
“Whether or not he plays on Saturday (against Amiens), he will be in Dortmund, I’m sure of it, but without being in the best shape he was in two weeks ago,” said the former Dortmund boss.
“But he will help us. I am sure and convinced of that.”
Neymar missed last season’s surprise Champions League last-16 defeat by Manchester United with a foot injury, and also sat out the second leg of the loss to Real Madrid at the same stage of the competition in 2018.
PSG have still not reached the Champions League semi-finals since their Qatari owners took over in 2011.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar is facing a fitness battle to feature in next week’s Champions league last 16 first leg tie at Borussia Dortmund, coach Thomas Tuchel said on Wednesday.
The world’s most expensive player has missed three matches having been sidelined with a rib injury since the victory over Montpellier on February 2.
“I can’t say that he will be 100% to play against Borussia Dortmund,” Tuchel said after the 6-1 French Cup quarter-final hammering of Dijon.
PSG will wait until the last possible moment before making a decision on the Brazilian’s chances of facing Amiens in Ligue 1 at the weekend.
“We will discuss and decide on Friday, the latest possible time to do so. We can’t risk his fitness,” Tuchel added.
The 28-year-old Neymar, who joined PSG in 2017 for 222 million euros ($250 million at the time) missed last season’s defeat to Manchester United at the same stage of the Champions League with a foot injury.
Neymar’s team-mates Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe, Marco Verratti and Idrissa Gueye also were unavailable for the midweek cup victory and are likely sit out Saturday’s league match at Amiens.
“We aren’t going to take risks against Amiens, it’s clear. We will have a strong team, but if we have little doubts, we won’t take risks,” Tuchel said.
The Parisians have never got further than the quarter-finals in the Champions League and travel to Dortmund on Tuesday for the first leg of the last 16 clash.
While Neymar has been partying with an injured rib, and Kylian Mbappe has been making no attempt to hide his displeasure with his coach, Paris Saint-Germain supporters could be forgiven for having that sinking feeling
.This has been the time of year when the French club’s season has tended to implode in recent years, with three successive eliminations in the first knockout round of the Champions League.
They are currently unbeaten in 20 games in all competitions after Tuesday’s 2-1 success at Nantes, and sit 12 points clear at the top of Ligue 1.
However, everything is gearing up towards their Champions League last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund, with the first leg in Germany on February 18.
PSG have not made it beyond the last 16 in four years, with the nature of defeats against Barcelona in 2017 and Manchester United last season helping make them something of a laughing stock around Europe.
Injuries to Neymar at this stage in each of the last two years proved crucial, so fans of a nervous disposition will be hoping the rib injury suffered by the Brazilian against Montpellier last weekend is nothing more than a short-term problem.
The injury did not prevent the world’s most expensive player from staging a lavish party at a Parisian nightclub for his 28th birthday last Sunday, but it did keep him out of the Nantes game.
With the Dortmund first leg coming into view, he could be rested for this Sunday’s visit of Lyon.
“I hope he can play on Sunday,” said coach Thomas Tuchel. “He was in pain at half-time against Montpellier. He is in exceptional form, but we will decide later. He needs to manage the pain.”
Meanwhile, Mbappe seems certain to play, just as he did in midweek despite an angry reaction to being substituted against Montpellier which has brought back the rumours that the 21-year-old — regularly linked with Real Madrid — may not stick around in Paris too much longer.
“He was decisive for us. There was no need for him to show a reaction,” Tuchel said of Mbappe’s midweek performance. The France star is PSG’s leading scorer this season with 22 goals.
The days when Lyon were the most feared opponents in the country are long gone, and they have taken just two points from their last 11 visits to Paris.
Rudi Garcia’s side are also struggling in sixth place just now after a soporific 0-0 draw with Amiens in midweek.
With or without Neymar, PSG will surely be too strong for them. It is the Dortmund tie that really matters though, and Tuchel needs his two biggest stars fully fit and focused in time for the trip to Germany.
Player to watch: Stephy Mavididi
One of that rare breed of English players trying his luck abroad, the 21-year-old, Derby-born forward Mavididi is currently a regular in a Dijon team battling to avoid relegation.
Mavididi left Arsenal without playing a top-team game and last year he joined Juventus — becoming their first English player since David Platt in 1992 — after being scouted by Giorgio Chiellini’s brother.
After one appearance for Juve last season, he was allowed to move to France on loan and he has already scored three times for the Burgundy side, who host Nantes this weekend.
4 – The number of goals scored by Mbappe in a 5-0 win when PSG hosted Lyon last season.
15 – Marseille are unbeaten in 15 games in all competitions, including 12 in the league, as they host bottom club Toulouse, who have taken one solitary point over the same period.
12 – The number of league goals scored by Metz captain Habib Diallo this season. The club that brought Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr and Papiss Cisse to Europe have unearthed another Senegalese gem.
Fixtures (times GMT)
Angers v Lille (1945)
Marseille v Toulouse (1630), Amiens v Monaco, Dijon v Nantes, Metz v Bordeaux, Nice v Nimes, Rennes v Brest (all 1900)
Montpellier v Saint-Etienne (1400), Strasbourg v Reims (1600), Paris Saint-Germain v Lyon (2000)
Neymar dedicated his second goal at Lille to basketball legend Kobe Bryant, whose death on Sunday in a helicopter crash shocked the world.
The Brazilian slotted home the 52nd-minute penalty that put PSG two goals up in the French Ligue 1 clash and went over to the television cameras by the side of the Stade Pierre Mauro pitch to make the number 24 with his fingers in honour of Bryant’s shirt number.
Bryant, who had been nominated for the NBA Hall of Fame in December, was confirmed dead at 41 years old on Sunday after a helicopter crashed and burst into flames in foggy conditions in suburban Los Angeles, leaving five people dead.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said there were no survivors from the morning crash on a rugged hillside in Calabasas, west of LA.
In an email to AFP, Mayor of Calabasas Alicia Weintraub confirmed Bryant was among the victims.
Neymar marked his first start in a Champions League game in a year by scoring one goal and setting up two more as Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 5-0 win over Galatasaray on Wednesday.
Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia netted in the first half at the Parc des Princes, with the world’s most expensive player getting his team’s third within two minutes of the restart.
Kylian Mbappe scored the fourth goal and substitute Edinson Cavani added a late penalty as PSG — who had already qualified for the last 16 as group winners – made it 16 points out of a possible 18 in Group A to finish five points ahead of Real Madrid.
However, it was Neymar who made the biggest impression, four days after starring in a 3-1 domestic victory at Montpellier and an injury-ravaged year to the day after his last start in Europe, against Red Star Belgrade.
“Neymar was already super important in a very difficult game at Montpellier. He was decisive in that game and he is improving,” said coach Thomas Tuchel.
“He is working hard off the ball, and going forward he is finding his form. It is easier now for him to accelerate, and he was really, really good.”
Despite PSG already being through and France being in the grip of a transport strike that has almost completely shut down the Paris metro system, the Parc des Princes was still largely full.
That included a sizeable travelling support, and there were incidents outside the stadium ahead of the match between rival fan groups, with police responding by firing tear gas before calm returned.
The game itself carried the air of a training exercise for the home side, with Tuchel resting stars such as Angel Di Maria, Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti and goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
There was a start in midfield for the 17-year-old Tanguy Kouassi, who made his senior debut last weekend and has still not signed full professional terms.
A year in the wilderness
The two biggest stars were on the pitch, though, and both Neymar and Mbappe proved too hot for the Turkish champions to handle.
Mbappe lifted the ball over advancing Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, leaving Icardi with an easy finish to make it 1-0 just after the half-hour mark.
It was Icardi’s 12th goal of the season and it was followed three minutes later by Sarabia controlling Neymar’s pass and firing low into the far corner.
After that Red Star game at the end of last season’s group phase, in which Neymar scored in a 4-1 win, he went on to miss both legs of the last-16 defeat against Manchester United due to injury.
He then sat out the first three games of this European campaign because of suspension, and was injured again for the following match, a 1-0 win over Club Brugge.
Neymar returned for the 2-2 draw at Real Madrid a fortnight ago, but only as a substitute.
The Brazilian collected Mbappe’s lay-off and fired low into the net to make it 3-0 in the 47th minute and then returned the favour, releasing the French World Cup winner to score his fifth Champions League goal of the season and make it 4-0 after the hour mark.
All that was left was for Cavani — the real PSG fans’ favourite currently relegated to the role of back-up — to convert a late penalty, making it 5-0 after Mbappe had been brought down, with Neymar happy for the Uruguay striker to take over penalty duties.
“We are in this together as a team and I hope him giving the penalty to ‘Edi’ is a symbol for the team this season,” added Tuchel.
Galatasaray finish with a paltry one goal and two points in the group and miss out on the consolation of a Europa League spot in the new year to Club Brugge.