Lucas Paqueta has defended Neymar against “false” accusations that the Brazil star turned up to Paris Saint-Germain training sessions drunk, describing them as “a lie”.
The two, who are Ligue 1 rivals and their counterparts with the Selecao, are both in the camp ahead of their Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Bolivia.
Neymar arrived after a difficult time at Parc des Princes, scolded alongside Lionel Messi following the club’s exit from the Champions League.
Reports from RMC Sport have suggested that the footballer has violated the club’s morale by appearing to be in a state of disarray.
But speaking at a press conference before the game, Lyon midfielder Paqueta has responded to such allegations, praising the Selecao star as a “great artist”.
“It is completely disrespectful, to say or pass false information,” he said. “Obviously, [Neymar] did not comment on that, I believe it is a lie.
“People talk a lot and it ends up affecting us a little bit, it’s hard to sort out all that. You can’t believe what people are saying. I believe Neymar is a great player.
“Neymar, above all, is a good, high-quality, incredibly talented man, without a doubt he is our best player in the Brazilian team.
“Having him with us is a privilege, especially me, when I have Neymar on my side, I feel strong, as do all my teammates.
“I think he feels the same way, we encourage each other a lot, we hug a lot and that makes us stronger.”