Paris Saint-Germain star forward Neymar defends unsporting antics during French Cup semi-final win
Posted: 1 February 2018 Time: 16:20
Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has defended his actions that took place during Tuesday's Coupe de la Ligue semi-final victory over Rennes, which received widespread criticism on social media.
The world's most expensive footballer, who joined the Ligue 1 giants from Barcelona for €222million last year, offered to help AS Rennes defender Hamari Traore off the ground before pulling away his hand at the last minute.
While the likes of AS Monaco defender Andrea Raggi lambasted the antics of the Brazil international, the 25-year-old played down the uproar by claiming it was a 'joke' and all his actions are blown out of proportion as media sensationalism.
"Football is a little boring right now. We cannot do anything – everything is controversial," he told Esporte Interativo.
"I made a joke at the end by offering my hand [to Hamari Traore] and then pulled it away. It will cause controversy, but it is the kind of thing that I do with my friends all the time. Why not with opponents? It was just a joke.
"They were stopping me by fouling me and I was playing football. They provoked me but I also know how to provoke, in my own way, with the ball and with my football style."