PSG dressing room fracas between Silva and the Argentine-Uruguayan clan
All does not appear to be well in the Paris Saint-Germain camp ahead of their Champions League round of 16 tie against Real Madrid with a rumoured bust-up between their South American stars.
They take on the competition’s holders in February but as attention slowly starts to turn towards that clash, they are suffering from some internal problems in the squad.
According to L’Equipe, there is a battle between the two South American camps, with the Brazilian group, following the arrivals of Dani Alves and Neymar, at loggerheads with the rest, led by Edinson Cavani.
The front cover of Friday’s newspaper led with the word ‘Zizanie’, which can be roughly translated as discord, a mess or that something is in tatters.
The origin of the latest fracas began with Cavani and Javier Pastore’s delayed return from their Christmas holidays, which was met with an overwhelming response from captain Thiago Silva in the mixed zone.
That criticism then drew a harsh and angry response from Pastore himself via Instagram.
“It is an important moment for the club. We should all be together and not do things that aren’t good for the group,” were Silva’s sentiments which appeared to start the rift after his teammates’ tardiness.
“You have to think before doing things like that. It isn’t good for anyone but there’s a difference between Pastore and Cavani.
“Pastore has told the club that he wants to leave but they couldn’t find an agreement, Cavani is different.”
For his part, the Uruguayan has maintained his silence on the matter but Pastore refused to bite his tongue and hit back at his captain on social media.
“I’ve never talked to T Silva about any problems or my future and I’ve never put pressure on anyone, it isn’t my style,” he wrote.
“He was not aware of the problem that I had which caused me to arrive back late.
“I repeat: my dream has always been to stay here. I’ve always been loyal and it isn’t true that I want to leave!
“I’d like to stay here for the rest of my career.”
The report in L’Equipe suggests that it is another example of the great split between cliques in the PSG dressing room, following on from Neymar and Cavani’s infamous penalty kick bust up.
It goes on to say that the Brazilian continent, which was strengthened in numbers following Dani Alves and Neymar’s arrivals, are closer to coach Unai Emery than the other group of South Americans.
The other contingent is made up of a frustrated Angel di Maria, who has struggled for playing time, as well as Cavani, Pastore and young Giovani Lo Celso, who are more distant with the squad.
Among that particular group of players, the comments of Thiago Silva have not gone down well and nor has the perceived preferential treatment that Neymar has received.
They are also unhappy about the Brazilian’s mid-season trip to his homeland to visit his sick sister which saw him miss two games, given that everyone received photos of him partying back in Brazil.