Neymar chooses PokerStars and not Paris with his title-winning teammates

Neymar chooses to PokerStars and not Paris with his title-winning teammates

The former French World Cup winner, Christophe Dugarry, heavily criticises Neymar Jr after the Paris St Germain star decided to stay in Brazil playing online poker instead of being in Paris celebrating the title with his teammates.

It was a wet and cold Saturday morning {like most Saturday mornings in South Wales}. I am driving down the motorway when the phone rings. It’s my boy.

Neymar chooses to PokerStars and not Paris with his title-winning teammates“Dad, have you left yet?”



“What’s up?”

“Do I have to go to football?”

“What’s wrong with you?”

“I’m injured.”

Number #1 – he was full of shit. Number #2 – I had to explain to him that football is a ‘team’ game, and it means so much more than playing. Being a part of a team helps prepare him for life. It teaches him to be a leader. It teaches him to show support, empathy and to create camaraderie.

Injured or not, I was picking him up so he could be in the dressing room, and on the pitch cheering his teammates on.

Christophe Duggary would have done the same thing.

The Christophe Duggary school of thought 

Neymar Jr has done more promotional work for PokerStars these past few months than at any time when they were paying him. Since the 26-year-old broke his metatarsal (toe to the uneducated) in a 3-0 win against Marseille in February, Neymar has plastered his social media feeds with images of him playing online on PokerStars. However, his latest Instagram snap has caused quite a stir.

While Paris St Germain (PSG) were walloping Monaco 7-1 on their way to another Ligue 1 title, the most expensive player in the world was back home in Brazil, watching the game on TV, while multi-tabling on PokerStars and this drew the ire of the former PSG player Dugarry.

The former World Cup winner, who was commentating on the match, said that Neymar had ‘spat on his teammates’ after deciding to stay away from the club during their title-winning celebrations.

“How can Neymar not be there with his teammates?” Questioned Dugarry. “How can PSG accept that?”

Neymar’s decision to play online poker instead of being in Paris does say a lot about his connection with the club who paid a world record £198 million to sign him from Barcelona in the summer.

I said then that the only reason to move to PSG would be a financial one, and when money is the primary reason for functioning, there is no room for love.

Next stop Manchester 

The online poker story has brought up more talk of Neymar Jr moving on in the summer. The Spanish rag Don Balon believes that his likely destination is Manchester (the red half); ruling out Real Madrid after the PSG owners acted angrily at Madrid owner Florentino Perez’s cheeky suggestion that Neymar should join the Champions League winners during the Ballon d’Or ceremony.

If United want him, the price tag looks likely to be in the £345m region. If the deal does go through you can expect Paul Pogba to be involved in an exchange deal.

The return of twinkle toes 

On Tuesday, Neymar was in Sao Paulo promoting a Chinese firm when he told the audience that he would be representing Brazil at the World Cup.

Neymar said his cast would be off in May, and he believes that gives him enough time to prepare for the Switzerland game on June 17.

“I hope I won’t watch the World Cup on TV!” Said Neymar Jr.

If he does, expect it to be from within the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas where the World Series of Poker (WSOP) will be taking place.