Thomas Tuchel has reflected on the situation around Neymar and on the anger that many Paris Saint-Germain fans feel towards the player, following a summer of transfer speculation.
It was made clear in the summer that Neymar wanted out of the French capital and now the fans are angry with him, something Tuchel can sympathize with.
“It’s not a simple situation,” he said in an interview with beIN.
“The fans express themselves and I totally understand it.
“They have the right to express themselves.
“They’re proud of their club and it’s not nice to hear one of your players say week after week that he wants out.
“I’ve told him that we need to face this reality.
“There’s pressure for him to act well and to change opinions.
“Our relationship hasn’t changed.
“I knew he wanted to leave and he knew I was against it, as it didn’t seem like the right time or the right decision to me.
“As a coach, obviously I didn’t want to lose him.
“But, in the end, we both knew the decision wasn’t for him or for me to make.
“So it shouldn’t affect the way we work together.”
Tuchel explained that the decision was one for the directors and he reflected on their stance.
“The club’s position was very clear, that Neymar wasn’t to play until he said he would stay,” the coach revealed.
“That helped me, as I could concentrate on the rest of the group.
“I didn’t have to ask if he’d play or not because the decision was clear and came from upstairs.”
During the interview, the German took the time to make a defence of Neymar.
“He is a really good guy, even if it might seem difficult to believe from the outside,” the coach said.
“I told him ‘you’re with me and I’m not going to leave you’ once it was all over.”