Brazilian superstar Neymar accepted on Sunday that he had made a mistake striking a fans who insulted PSG players as they were collecting their French Cup losers’ medals.
Neymar scored to put PSG 2-0 up after 21 minutes on Saturday, but Rennes fought back to tie the game at 2-2 and win the penalty shootout 6-5 after extra time.
As the players climbed the steps to receive their medals, Neymar, one of the last in line, struck one of the fans in the face. The blow was caught on numerous phones, including that of the victim, Edouard, a 28-year-old delivery driver from Nantes.
“Did I act badly?” Neymar asked in an Instagram comment. “Yes. But no one can stay indifferent.”
A Brazilian friend of Neymar’s, Alex Bernardo, posted on Instagram a transcript of the comments audible on Edouard’s video. “Oh, Buffon, dirty Bouffon! Oh, Kurzawa, keep your hand to yourself!” Then to Marco Verratti: “Oh, racist!” and to Neymar: “Oh, go and learn to play football.”
The Brazilian striker reacted by pushing down the phone to hit Edouard in the face.
“Who will defend me from going in defence of my teammates?” Neymar wrote in a comment on the post.