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13 Mar, 2022 14:57

Messi & Neymar jeered by PSG fans after latest Champions League failure (VIDEO)

Lionel Messi and Neymar were relentlessly booed by Paris Saint-Germain fans in their first game since their Champions League exit to Real Madrid
Messi & Neymar jeered by PSG fans after latest Champions League failure (VIDEO)

Lionel Messi and Neymar, the football icons who came under fire for their below-par performances in Paris Saint-Germain's humiliating Champions League collapse at Real Madrid on Wednesday, were the targets of PSG's boo boys as they returned to Ligue 1 duty on Sunday afternoon against rivals Bordeaux.

Neymar scored PSG's second goal in a comprehensive 3-0 win for Mauricio Pochettino's men but not before the Brazil striker and seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi were relentlessly jeered every time they touched the ball early on in the encounter.

The two superstars were singled out for their disastrous displays as Madrid hit back from being 2-0 down with little more than half an hour of the round of 16 tie remaining, triumphing 3-2 on aggregate courtesy of an 18-minute hat-trick from France forward Karim Benzema. 

Neymar and Messi seemed to shoulder much of the blame for the capitulation from the perspective of the vocal crowd inside the Parc des Princes.

In contrast to the reception handed to Neymar and Messi, the other member of PSG's feted attacking trio, Kylian Mbappe, was cheered – as were several other players.

The fan reaction came amid reports of internal strife within the club, who have yet to win a coveted Champions League crown since the club was infused with riches as a result of a Qatar-backed takeover in 2011.

The jeers came a day after sections of the PSG support called for club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to resign from his position amid a growing revolt within the ranks of the club's fans.

“The unacceptable and inevitable disillusion that we feared and foresaw has unfortunately been realized,” the PSG ultras said in a statement.

“How can you have this mindset that moves mountains when your season seems to begin in February and you play domestic competitions at a senatorial pace?

“How can you have a genuine game plan when your squad is nothing but a bunch of ‘stars’ who barely compliment one another?

“We don’t have a short memory. We know what our return owes to President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi but it is clear he is not the man for the job.

"The club’s current situation requires complete re-organization at all levels going forward and the daily presence of its president.”

Messi scored 35 goals in 41 Liga and Champions League appearances last season for Barcelona, where he had spent the entirety of his sensational career before being forced to leave the club in August because of rules over club spending in Spain.

The 34-year-old had been expected to prove equally prolific in the French top flight, which is widely considered to be a relatively weak division, but has scored just twice in 17 league appearances.

Neymar, who remains the most expensive player in the world courtesy of his move to PSG from Barca for more than $242 million in 2017, has also had an underwhelming season.

The two-time South American Footballer of the Year has five goals in 20 appearances and failed to score at all in the Champions League.

There is also widespread speculation that PSG boss Pochettino could be shipped out as the club again seek to appoint a manager capable of guiding the club to Champions League success. 

German boss Thomas Tuchel was sacked by the French giants in December 2020 – four months after losing that year's Champions League Final to Bayern Munich.

Tuchel went on to win the competition in May 2021 with new club Chelsea.

France icon Zinedine Zidane has been installed by bookmakers as the man most likely to sit in the PSG dugout next season – but whether he will have Neymar, Messi and the potentially Real Madrid-bound Mbappe in his ranks remains very much to be seen.

Mbappe is PSG's top scorer with 26 goals this season but his contract expires at the end of the campaign.

Madrid failed with a final bid of around $218 million for Mbappe on the final day of the summer transfer window in August.

The World Cup winner scored both of the goals that had put PSG on course to qualify against Madrid and hit the 26th-minute opener against Bordeaux.

One of Messi's international teammates, Leandro Paredes, scored the third as PSG ended a run of two defeats that started with a 1-0 loss at second-placed Nice on March 5.

Paris are 15 points clear at the top of the table ahead of their trip to Monaco – Mbappe's former club – next Sunday.

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