Neymar and Gianluigi Donnarumma clashed in a dressing room bust-up after Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-1 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid on Wednesday, sources have confirmed to ESPN.
The Brazil forward and Italy goalkeeper had to be separated by teammates after a heated postmatch exchange at the Bernabeu, with each blaming the other for PSG’s round-of-16 exit.
– Laurens: Mbappe might soon be prince of Madrid, but Benzema still king
– ESPN+ viewers’ guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more
– Don’t have ESPN? Get instant access
Kylian Mbappe opened the scoring in the first half — putting PSG in a dominant position, up 2-0 in the tie — before a dramatic 17-minute hat trick from Karim Benzema saw Madrid progress to the quarterfinals 3-2 on aggregate.
The loss sparked a furious reaction from the French club in the immediate aftermath of the match, with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Leonardo seeking to confront the referee over what they called the “shameful” decision to not rule out Benzema’s first goal.
Sources told ESPN that in a separate incident, Neymar and Donnarumma squared up to each other in the dressing room, with the Brazil forward criticising the goalkeeper for his error ahead of Benzema’s 61st-minute equaliser.
Donnarumma allowed himself to be closed down by Benzema and, as he tried to clear the ball, passed it across goal to Vinicius Junior, who pulled it back for Benzema to make it 1-1.
The keeper responded by pointing out that Neymar had conceded possession ahead of Madrid’s second goal, giving the ball away to Luka Modric, who drove forward to begin the move that ended with Benzema levelling the tie in the 76th minute.
PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino described the incident that led to Madrid’s first goal as “a clear foul.”
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s impossible to accept. Overall we were the better team. It’s so disappointing.
“The emotion of the game changed. You give Real Madrid belief, and at the Bernabeu of course, it’s difficult to manage the situation. The team was so affected. It’s so unfair. It changed the way the game went completely.”
Got a story or tip for us? Email Sports Gossip editors at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want More From Sports Gossip?