Amid Neymar-Cavani Spat, Dani Alves Urges PSG To Work Together


Paris Saint-Germain’s Dani Alves said he was hoping to take the free kick himself after he appeared to hide the ball from Edinson Cavani and hand it off to Neymar during Sunday’s controversial 2-0 win over Lyon.

Neymar and Cavani disagreed over who should take a second-half free kick and the two spatted throughout the match at various points.

“I was going to have a go myself — I had already taken the ball for the free kick because I have already scored a few,” Alves told SporTV.

“I was confident. To me, this is nothing, the most important thing is that the team is ahead of any individual result.

“I believe that when the match is really hard and we want to make the breakthrough, we all want to take responsibility. That is what I wanted to do here but Ney took the ball from me and ended up shooting.

“I had already taken one earlier and I tried to take this one as well but unfortunately, I wasn’t unable to.”

Alves insisted that the team win was and is always more important than individual statistics.

“I believe that individual results have nothing to do with team games,” Alves declared.

“We need to play together so we can keep growing and reaching our goals.

“I believe that we are all very smart here, so we know that any result as a team is more important that an individual result, because we are playing a team sport.”

Midfielder Adrien Rabiot said that there were no lingering issues in the locker room after the game despite the apparent on-field tensions.

“There were not any problems [in the locker room],” said the France international. “I did not see what happened on the field because I was talking to the coach at the moment but that happens in other teams too.

“Edinson scored a goal and Neymar wanted to score too, so that happens. They are football players, they want to score and that can happen but they are also very professional and it was all good in the locker room afterwards.

“I think they are going to speak and come to an agreement. They can take penalty kicks one at a time.”

PSG coach Unai Emery told his players to “sort it out between themselves” and suggested that Neymar and Edinson Cavani come to a “gentleman’s agreement” when it came to taking penalties.

“Penalties will be taken by a couple of players,” Emery said. “One is Edinson and the other is Neymar. There needs to be a gentleman’s agreement on the pitch when it comes to taking spot-kicks.

“Apart from that, we will have to arrange things internally for when we get penalties because I believe that both are capable of converting them and I want that they alternate with this exercise.”