Neymar slams Barca's directors after home debut

PARIS • French football club Paris Saint-Germain's world record signing Neymar has launched a scathing attack on his former club's directors, saying "Barca deserve much better".

The people in charge at the Catalan giants "are not the people who should be there, for the direction of Barca", the Brazil forward said after scoring twice on his home debut as PSG thumped Toulouse 6-2 in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

"I want to speak the truth, I'm very sad with them."

It took PSG a world record €222 million (S$355.67 million) to prise him away from Barcelona.

"I spent four years there and I was very happy. At the start, I was happy. I spent four beautiful years there and I parted happy. But with them (the club's directors), no," said Neymar.

"For me, they are not the people who should be there, for the direction of Barca.

"Barca deserve much better and the whole world knows it."

Despite securing the massive fee for Neymar, Barcelona are struggling to replace him before the transfer window closes.

The club have had bids in excess of €100 million for Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele turned down.

And the club have been criticised for splashing out €40 million for Brazil midfielder Paulinho, who spent two years at Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

But Neymar said he could not comment on what Barca were doing before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

"I cannot speak now, I am in another team. I don't know what's going on there, but I see my old teammates sad, and it's that which makes me sad because I have a lot of friends there," he said.

"I hope that things will improve for Barca and that they will become a team that can rival others."

Former Tottenham Hotspur flop Paulinho's arrival has not been warmly received by Barca's fanatical supporters at the Camp Nou.

More than 80 per cent of them urged the club not to pay more than €20 million for Paulinho in a survey conducted by Barcelona sports daily Mundo Deportivo.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2017, with the headline 'Neymar slams Barca's directors after home debut'. Print Edition | Subscribe