Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé lacked Paris Saint-Germain’s support and recognition to create a winning environment during their time together in France, according to the club’s former sporting director Leonardo.
The star-studded attacking trio won league titles at PSG the past two seasons but failed to bring Champions League success to the club.
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“People, they need to feel comfortable. These players need a state of good spirits, they need to feel support, they need to be recognised,” Leonardo told Brazilian publication Ge. “And the ones who have do that are the club, us, and the coaches.”
Neymar recently said that he and Messi “lived through hell” during their time together at PSG.
Messi found it difficult to adapt to Paris after his move from Barcelona and admitted that there was a “fracture with a significant group of the PSG fans” during his two seasons at the club.
Both players were booed and jeered by PSG fans following the team’s exits from the Champions League over the past two years.
Leonardo denied that there was a battle of egos at PSG that affected the harmony within the locker room.
“These guys who have that level of talent are not complicated,” Leonardo said. “They solve more problems than they create and, if their problems have to be solved, it is done…They also have to make themselves available for that [winning spirit] to happen.”
Mbappé, who is in his final year at PSG has remained at the club while World Cup winner Messi left the French giants this summer to join Inter Miami CF as a free agent and Brazilian forward Neymar moved to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal in a €90 million transfer.
“I think he can maintain the form and competitive level there [in Saudi Arabia] and continue to play at a high level,” Leonardo said of Brazil compatriot Neymar.
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