Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel has said that Neymar did ‘everything in his power’ to leave the club in the summer.
Neymar made it very clear to his current employers that he wanted to return to former club Barcelona and link up with old team-mates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, although a move to the Blaugrana’s bitter rivals Real Madrid was also mooted.
However, no deal could be struck with either club and the Brazilian has been forced to remain in France for another season.
As a result of Neymar’s very public angling for a return to Spain, PSG fans made their feelings towards the forward very clear on his Ligue 1 return in which he scored a late bicycle kick winner, booing, whistling and shouting abuse at him as well as holding up offensive signs and banners.
Tuchel says that, while he understands the fans’ anger, Neymar has remained a model professional and insists that he will continue to give everything for the club’s cause this season.
“He did not want to be here. He tried everything in his power [to leave the club]. That did not help make him popular,” Tuchel said to DAZN.
“You could feel that, and I can understand if the fans are angry, even permanently.
“Nevertheless, there is also a side between me as a coach and him as a player. There was never a break or a discrepancy. That’s why it was very easy for me to let him play. He has always trained professionally. I feel that the decision was a relief to him, even though it was against his wishes.
“Then, one is automatically focused on the task. As an athlete there is not much else you can think about. You have to give your all. He is hungry and a competitive guy who always wants to win.
“He has to withstand it [the boos and whistles from the fans] now, that’s the reality. He has to go through it, and we all have to go through it in the home games. The best thing is to come to terms with it.”